Qatar has no plans to normalize ties with Syria: foreign minister

Qatar is not considering normalizing ties with Syria and hopes other countries will be discouraged from taking further action with the government of President Bashar al-Assad, Foreign Minister Sheikh Al-Thani said on Friday.

His comments at a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington were in response to a question during a visit this week by the foreign minister of another Gulf state, the United Arab Emirates, to Damascus.

“It would be an illusion to have all the countries in the region united when it comes to the Syria issue, and we hope that the countries will be discouraged from taking further action with the Syrian regime so as not to (worsen) Syria’s misery.” the Syrian people, “said Sheikh Mohammed.

“We do not see any serious step by the Assad regime that demonstrates its commitment to repair the damage it caused to its own country and people,” he added.

Qatar was among several regional states, including Saudi Arabia, that backed the rebels in Syria’s decade-long civil war. Some, like the United Arab Emirates, have sought to normalize ties after Assad regained control of most of the country.

A PICTURE of Syria’s President Bashar Assad hangs outside the parliament building in Damascus in April. (credit: YAMAM AL SHAAR / REUTERS)

The UAE earlier this year called for Syria to be readmitted to the Arab League. On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan met Assad in Damascus on the first such visit by a senior Emirati dignitary since the civil war broke out.

Washington, which opposes efforts to normalize ties with Assad or rehabilitate him until progress is made towards a political solution to the conflict, said it was concerned about the move by the United Arab Emirates, one of its allies.

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