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Qatar calls to halt normalisation with Assad regime

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus, Syria on 11 February 2016 [JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images]
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus, Syria on 11 February 2016 [JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images]

Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed Al-Thani on Friday called to halt normalisation with Syria's Bashar Al-Assad regime.

In a script for a press conference held by Al-Thani and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in the US State Department in Washington, Al-Thani stated: "We see that normalising with Assad regime is not a step that we are thinking of or considering right now." Al-Thani also expressed:

We believe that all the crimes he has committed against his own people he needs to be held accountable.

However, the Qatari official added: "We support the political resolution and political transition over there in a peaceful way with the support of the Security Council Resolution 2254."

The Qatari minister explained that his country "cannot criticise" the countries in the region "trying to re-engage and reintegrate Syria" as they "are making their decisions based on their assessments and their own concern, and this is their sovereign right."

But he added: "It will be a wishful thinking to have all the countries in the regions 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 undermine the misery of the Syrian people."

Read: US slams UAE meeting with Syria's Assad, urges careful consideration

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Blinken indicated that the US was "concerned about the signals" sent through visits made by some officials from the region.

"I would simply urge all of our partners to remember the crimes that the Assad regime has committed and indeed continues to commit," he said, adding: "We don't support normalisation, and again, we would emphasise to our friends and partners to consider the signals that they're sending."

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Asia & AmericasMiddle EastNewsQatarSyriaUAEUS
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