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.