French President Francois Hollande and the new Syrian opposition leader have announced plans to install an ambassador to represent Syria in France.
The surprise move came after talks at France's presidential palace between Hollande and Moaz al-Khatib, head of the newly formed Syrian opposition coalition. France recognised the coalition days after it was formed on Sunday - and is so far the only Western country to do so.
Hollande also confirmed that French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who was at Saturday's talk, will raise the issue of lifting the EU arms embargo against Syria at a meeting on Monday in Brussels among European Union foreign ministers.
Fabius has suggested supplying defensive weapons so Syrian rebels can protect themselves from attacks by the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
More than 36,000 people have been killed since the Syrian uprising against Assad began in March 2011 and the new coalition is pressing for the means to defend Syrian civilians.
Since May 2011, the EU has imposed a ban on the export of weapons and equipment to Syria that could be used for 'internal repression'.
France has taken the lead in efforts to oust Assad's regime, and Hollande reiterated on Saturday that the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces is for France the sole representative of the Syrian people and a future provisional government.
Fabius will also press EU partners to recognise the coalition, Holllande said.
'We have no hidden agenda,' al-Khatib said in a bid to reassure other nations.
Hollande said al-Khatib, a preacher-turned-activist, reassured him that the coalition he leads seeks unity of the Syrian people and France's aim in moving quickly is to 'assure its legitimacy and credibility'.
The United States and other EU nations have said they prefer to wait and see whether the coalition truly represents the variety of people that make up Syria.