Qatar’s foreign minister said on Friday that Syria’s Assad regime is the main sponsor of terror, Felesteen newspaper has reported.
“I think that Bashar Al-Assad is one of the main sponsors of terror and he will never have a role in Syria’s future,” said Khalid Al-Attiyah during a press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow. “Assad has lost his legitimacy since his forces used chemical weapons.”
The minister pointed out that Qatar agrees with Russia on the importance of maintaining the integrity of Syrian territory, and that democracy must prevail. The future of Bashar Al-Assad, however, is still an issue of disagreement.
Al-Attiyah stressed the importance of respecting the Syrian people and the unity of their land. The formation of a transitional government with full powers is a necessity, he insisted.
While refusing to classify fighting groups in Syria as “opposition or terrorists”, the Qatari official said that the most important thing is to know what has pushed them to take up arms and what they want to achieve. The newly-announced Islamic coalition against terror, formed by the Saudi Arabian government, is going to concentrate on fighting the ideology of terrorism, Al-Attiyah noted.
Meanwhile, Sergei Lavrov said that the ongoing differences between Russia and other countries regarding Assad’s future undermines the Geneva talks. He added that it was not clear who would represent the opposition parties in the talks, which are slated to start in the New Year.