Qatar’s foreign minister on Tuesday welcomed a Russian-brokered agreement for “de-escalation” zones in Syria but said the plan was no substitute for a political transition that would see Bashar al-Assad step down.
“It is good to have de-escalation zones but this must be a step to reach a solution to the Syrian crisis and not to use it as an excuse to delay this solution and to postpone the political transition,” the Qatari foreign ministry quoted the foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani.
The remarks came after talks between the Qatari minister and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington on Monday.
Al-Thani pointed to close cooperation between Qatar and the United States regarding the situation in Syria, adding that consultations with his American counterpart and the US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster focused on Syria and the proposals to move with a solution forward.
Al-Thani pointed out that the fight against terrorism was one of the main issues discussed with the United States. He added that the two countries reviewed efforts to stop the financing of terrorist groups which continue to pose a growing threat in the region.
The Syrian opposition rejected giving any role for Iran as a guarantor of the political process or as an observer to any cessation of hostilities agreement. It stressed that Iran’s support for the Assad regime is the main reason behind the suffering of the Syrian people, adding that Iran’s actions in Syria risk fueling sectarian tensions and contribute to the rise of terrorism. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)