The Arab League formally recognized the new National Coalition Forces of the Syrian Revolution, state media in Qatar reported Monday. Various opposition groups agreed to form the new coalition Sunday.
State-run news agency QNA reported the 22-member body approved the resolution to recognize the group, which unites Syrian opposition factions.
Algeria and Iraq abstained from some of the provisions of the measure, said Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, the prime minister of Qatar.
Al-Thani disputed that there was any difference in the position of the Arab League's vote and that of the Gulf Cooperation Council, a six-member group.
"That claim is absolutely untrue, and the position of the two parties is identical" except for Algeria's and Iraq's reluctance to fully support the measure, QNA reported al-Thani as saying.
Opposition forces in Syria have not had a unified vision for the country or single military plan to oust President Bashar al-Assad during the nearly two years of civil war.
So the United States and Arab nations pressured the groups to get on the same page.
After U.S. election, new push on Syria
Syrian opposition factions formally agreed Sunday in Doha, Qatar, to unite as the new National Coalition Forces of the Syrian Revolution, a spokesman for the Syrian National Council told CNN.
First, the group agreed that they want al-Assad gone and that no one would talk with his regime. The only option, they concluded, is a totally new government, spokesman Mohammed Dugham said.
SNC member Ahmed Muaz al-Khatib was selected chairman of the coalition. He is a former Sunni imam of the historic Ummayad mosque in Damascus. He has been detained at least three times since March 2011, most recently in April, according to a Facebook page created to promote his release. After his latest release he left the country, the page said.
The new vice presidents are Riad Seif, a prominent dissident and businessman from Damascus who served in the Syrian parliament as an independent, and Suhair Atassi, who is from a prominent Syrian family and is well-known for being outspoken against the government. She has also been an advocate for women's rights, calling the civil war a revolution for equality.
Al-Assad has his own group called the Syrian Human Rights Network. It accuses those who met to hash out the agreement -- and the countries who supported the meeting -- of sponsoring terrorism.
Al-Assad has consistently refused to acknowledge the civil war in Syria, saying repeatedly his government is fighting foreign-backed "terrorists" bent on destabilizing the nation.
In other developments regarding Syria:
Israel: We cannot intervene
Israeli President Shimon Peres played down his nation's response to the mortars from Syria that hit the Golan Heights, territory Israel has occupied for nearly four decades.
"The bloodshed which I regret so much in Syria has nothing to do with Israel, nothing whatsoever," Peres said in an interview with CNN on Monday.
"As an Israeli watching what has happened in Syria, I can hardly stand to see babies being killed by tanks of their own government. But we cannot intervene."
Israel returned fire in the direction that the mortars came from, marking the first exchange of fire with Syria between Israel and the war-torn country since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
"We never took an initiative to fire," Peres said. "And we don't take any advantage of the civil war in Syria. We don't consider that we should or can intervene."
He added, however, that "if they want to have an additional war ... well, that's their choice."
The Israeli Defense Forces reported that there was no damage and no injuries, but the latest fire portends how what's happening in Syria could seriously rattle the entire region.
The Golan is regarded internationally as occupied territory despite Israeli governmental control. It is home to 41,000 residents, including Jews, Druze and Alawites. Israel seized the territory from Syria during the 1967 Israel-Arab war, and it was eventually annexed.
In addition to returning fire, Israel filed a complaint with the United Nations forces operating in the area.