Syria National Coalition VP Atassi resigns

Published December 4th, 2013 - 04:38 GMT
Atassi was beaten and held for her involvement in protests at the beginning of Syria’s uprising. [Reuters]
Atassi was beaten and held for her involvement in protests at the beginning of Syria’s uprising. [Reuters]

Prominent Syrian opposition activist Suhair Atassi has resigned from the post of vice president of the mainstream opposition grouping the National Coalition.

Atassi will remain a member of the coalition and also retain her position as chairwoman for the umbrella opposition aid agency, the Assistance Coordination Unit, based in Turkey.

A coalition spokesperson confirmed Atassi’s resignation, but did not give a reason for the decision.

“It is a topic related to the presidential committee and will be discussed by them,” the spokesperson said.

“Atassi remains the president of the coalition’s Assistant Coordination Unit,” the spokesperson said.

“During the last four months, she has been so busy with her political duties as the coalition’s vice president and her humanitarian work as president of the ACU. [Now] she wants to focus on her humanitarian and relief work,” the spokesperson added.

But Atassi has yet to make public the resignation. The activist has recently come under fire for her work in both capacities with the ACU and the coalition.

Last week, 25 members of the ACU’s staff went on strike, claiming concerns over mismanagement of aid delivery and funding that they say have gone unaddressed by Atassi.

Other former employees who quit the ACU told The Daily Star last week they had concerns about a “conflict of interest” between her political role with the coalition and the ACU. While the coalition established the ACU, the aid body is supposedly independent of all political organizations.

Amer Karkoutli, a spokesman for the striking ACU members, said the strike would continue but Atassi’s resignation was a matter for the coalition, not the ACU.

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