Barack Obama has declared Syria's main opposition group the sole "legitimate representative" of its country's people, deeming the move "a big step" in the international diplomatic efforts to end Syrian president Bashar Assad's regime.
Mr Obama told ABC News that the newly formed Syrian Opposition Council "is now inclusive enough" to be granted the elevated status, which paves the way for greater US and international support for the organisation.
More top news
Spring takes a hike - for the time being
A number of Britons are feared stranded on Mount Everest after the Nepal earthquake triggered a deadly avalanche on Saturday.
Prime Minister defends royals' decision to give birth in a private hospital - instead of going with the NHS