DOHA, Qatar — Syria’s main opposition group in exile has elected a Christian Paris-based former geography teacher as its president.

George Sabra said Friday that his election as head of the Syrian National Council is a sign that the opposition is not plagued by sectarian divisions.

Sabra said the SNC’s main demand is to receive weapons from the international community. The U.S. and some other foreign backers of rebels fighting the regime of President Bashar Assad have so far refused to send weapons for fear they can fall into the wrong hands.