Qatar has no plan to normalise ties with Syria: Foreign minister

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani says the concept of regional unity in direction of Syria is ‘wishful thinking’.

Qatar just isn’t contemplating normalising ties with Syria and hopes different international locations will likely be discouraged from taking additional steps with President Bashar al-Assad’s authorities, international minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has mentioned.

His feedback at a joint information convention with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington have been in response to a query on a go to this week by the international minister of fellow Gulf state the United Arab Emirates to Damascus.

“It will be wishful thinking to have all the countries in the region united when it comes to the issue of Syria, and we hope that countries will be discouraged from taking further steps with the Syrian regime in order not to (worsen) the misery of the Syrian people,” Al Thani mentioned on Friday.

“We don’t see any serious steps by the Assad regime showing his commitment to repair the damage that he made for his own country and people,” he added.

Qatar was amongst a number of regional states together with Saudi Arabia that backed rebels in Syria’s decades-old civil conflict. Some just like the UAE have sought to normalise ties after Assad regained management of a lot of the nation.

The UAE earlier this yr referred to as for Syria to be readmitted to the Arab League. On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed met with Assad in Damascus within the first such go to by a senior Emirati dignitary for the reason that civil conflict erupted.

Washington, which opposes efforts to normalise ties with Assad till progress is made in direction of a political answer to the battle, mentioned it was involved in regards to the move by the UAE, one among its allies.

At Friday’s press convention, Blinken mentioned the US is worried about “the signals that some of these visits and engagements are sending”.

“I would simply urge all of our partners to remember the crimes that the Assad regime has committed and indeed continues to commit. We don’t support normalisation,” he added.

Last month, the Emirati financial system ministry mentioned it had agreed with its Syrian counterpart to improve commerce and financial cooperation.

Ties between the 2 international locations have slowly rekindled for the reason that UAE reopened its embassy in Damascus in late 2018. In March 2019, bin Zayed mentioned the UAE meant “to ensure that Syria returns to the Arab region”.

Last month, al-Assad held a telephone name with Jordan’s King Abdullah II. The dialog was preceded by the complete reopening of a primary border crossing between the 2 international locations in September.