A boy looks back while he and another boy play on a Syrian military tank, destroyed during fighting with the Rebels, in the Syrian town of Azaz, on the outskirts of Aleppo, Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
BERLIN (AP) — Germany's foreign minister is pressing disparate Syrian opposition groups to unite in preparation for the collapse of the Bashar Assad regime.
Guido Westerwelle is also urging the international community to be ready to provide economic support.
Berlin hosted a gathering of Syrian opposition representatives and diplomats Tuesday to address how to prevent basic services and infrastructure collapsing, and how to revive the economy, once Assad falls.
Westerwelle said a common platform is urgently needed, and that the people of Syria must see "there is a credible alternative to the regime."
He called on the opposition "to create as fast as possible the conditions for ... a transition government."
However, he stopped short of French President Francois Hollande's call last week for the Syrian opposition to form a provisional government now.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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