BAL­ANC­ING ACT

Qatar Today - - AFFAIRS -

Qatar, which has al­ways been op­posed to Syr­ian Pres­i­dent Bashar Al As­sad and part of the coali­tion forces that are fight­ing ISIS, also en­gaged the regime's staunch­est sup­porter, Rus­sia, in this del­i­cate hour as world pow­ers des­per­ately worked to­wards find­ing a political so­lu­tion in Syria. Ear­lier last month, French For­eign Min­is­ter Lau­rent Fabius wel­comed US Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry as well as his coun­ter­parts from Bri­tain, Ger­many, Italy, Saudi Ara­bia, the United Arab Emi­rates, Jor­dan, Qatar and Turkey to dis­cuss sev­eral mat­ters like draw­ing up a list of ter­ror­ist or­gan­is­tions which will now be al­lowed to be part of the talks. HE Al Attiyah also vis­ited Rus­sia later in the month where Syria was one of the top of mat­ters dis­cussed. Call­ing the di­a­logue with his Rus­sian coun­ter­part Sergei Lavrov “con­struc­tive”, HE Al Attiyah said both their coun­tries stressed the im­por­tance of main­tain­ing peace. He ad­mit­ted that while there were dis­agree­ments over cer­tain is­sues be­tween the two na­tions, there were many points both par­ties can build on. One of them was the unity of Syr­ian land and the tran­si­tion of the coun­try to­wards democ­racy. As for dif­fer­ences, he pointed to the le­git­i­macy of Bashar Al As­sad. He also stated that the State of Qatar was against la­belling all armed op­po­si­tion in Syria, high­light­ing that it was im­por­tant to first un­der­stand why each group re­sorted to arm­ing it­self.

US Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry and Qatar's For­eign Min­is­ter HE Khalid Al Attiyah at­tend a min­is­te­rial meet­ing on Syria at the Quai d'Or­say, Min­istry of For­eign Affairs, in Paris on De­cem­ber 14.

Rus­sian For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavrov with his Qatari coun­ter­part HE Khaled Al Attiyah dur­ing a meet­ing in Moscow on De­cem­ber 25.

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