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Qatar will continue efforts to restore peace in Syria: FM

Qatar will continue efforts to restore peace in Syria: FM

Catherine W Gichuki
Doha
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has affirmed that Qatar will continue its efforts to help in restoring peace in Syria while continuing humanitarian aid.
“Qatar reaffirms this commitment both as the humanitarian and political side. We will continue our support for brotherly Syrian people,” Sheikh Mohammed said at a joint press conference with Turkish and Russian counterparts in Doha on Thursday.
Qatar, Turkey and Russia affirmed the need to preserve the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and alleviate the humanitarian suffering resulting from the Syrian crisis.
“We hope that this meeting will be repeated regularly to achieve the aims and objectives,” he said.
“The Syrian matter is closely linked to the hearts and minds of the Qatari people. Qatar has spared no effort since the beginning of the Syrian crisis in providing effective assistance to the brotherly Syrian people,” he said, adding that humanitarian activities will be supported while efforts will be taken up for the repatriation of Syrian refugees.
The FM said Qatar stresses the importance of voluntary and safe return of the internally displaced persons and the refugees to create conducive conditions for peace making.
Talking about the Qatar-Turkey-Russia collaboration to find a solution to the Syrian crisis, Sheikh Mohammed said, “We have seen there is a common ground of agreement.”
The FM said special envoys of all the three countries will hold meetings to make sure to have the necessary mechanisms for aid to reach. “There will be follow-up ministerial meetings and we hope that these kinds of framework, either trilateral or bilateral, will be conducive to help the Syrian people to support the political track to help. The consultation will continue between Qatar, Russia, Turkey and other countries.”
On Qatar’s position on the return of Syria to the Arab League, the FM said there are reasons that necessitated the suspension of Syria’s membership in the Arab League, expressing his hope for the progress of a political solution to this crisis.
He said Qatar continues to support the Syrian people and reach a political settlement that paves the way for the restoration of relations between the two countries.
The FM stressed Qatar’s firm position in support of the political solution to the Syrian crisis.
For his part, Foreign Minister of Turkey Mevlut Cavusoglu said, “Today, we started a new consultative process with Qatar and Russia. Our aim is to look for concerted efforts to reach a political solution in Syria.”
“The lack of fulfillment of the legitimate demands of the Syrian people is the main reason behind the continuation of this conflict, which cannot end without the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254. We worked with the Russian side to achieve this objective and we continue the cooperation with Qatar to alleviate human suffering and continue our coordination.”
The Turkish FM said at the meeting prior to the press conference they revisited the work of the constitutional committee.
“We spoke about the importance of pressurising the regime to gain some distance regarding the status quo and the current political situation. We have also discussed the deteriorating humanitarian situation and we reaffirmed the necessity to consolidate our humanitarian efforts especially when it comes to tackling and mitigating the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Cavusoglu said there are millions of Syrians living in Turkey and according to the UN estimates, there are 13.4 million Syrians needing aid, more than 5 million need shelter, others face shortages of food and more than 2.4 million children are deprived of learning and education.
He said they have decided to host the next meeting in Turkey and thereafter in Russia.
“Our friends will work in an organised manner to establish permanent peace in Syria and to host these meetings in order to protect peace in the region,” he added.
For his part, the Russian Foreign Minister thanked Qatar for holding the meeting.
He said they reiterated the importance of a political solution in accordance with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 and the Outcomes of the Syrian National Dialogue which was suggested.
“We also emphasised the importance of urgent assistance to Syria to help mitigate the pandemic and also to rebuild the civil infrastructure destroyed as a result of the war,” he said, adding that the next round of the constitutional committee meeting is expected to be held before Ramadan.
“We also confirm our readiness to take part in any effort to make sure that Syrians can return safely to their natural habitat. We also emphasise our support for the efforts aimed at releasing detainees and prisoners. We have also authorised our special envoys to coordinate to work on this track. I think this kind of trilateral meeting will be a useful addition to what Turkey, Russia and Iran are doing.”
In a joint statement, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, Turkey and Russia elaborated the ways of cooperation with the aim of contributing to a lasting political solution to Syria.
The ministers emphasised their commitment to preserving the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic in accordance with the UN Charter.
They expressed their conviction that there is no military solution to the Syrian conflict, and reaffirming their commitment to advancing a political process facilitated by the United Nations to support the Syrian parties to reach a political solution in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2254 and Geneva Communique of 2012.
They underscored their determination to combat terrorism in all forms and manifestations and stand against separatist agendas undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria as well as threatening the national security of neighboring countries.
The ministers emphasised the important role of the Constitutional Committee and ensuring respect to its Terms of Reference and Core Rules of Procedure by the Syrian parties.
They expressed their support for constructive engagement without foreign interference in the work of the Constitutional Committee.
The three ministers reaffirmed their position on contributing to the work of the Constitutional Committee by supporting the efforts of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to Syria, Geir Pedersen, through continuous interaction with the Syrian parties and delegates of the Constitutional Committee in order to ensure its sustainable and effective work to achieve a Constitutional reform.
They expressed their grave concern in regards to the humanitarian situation in Syria and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the profound challenge it poses to the health system in Syria, and to the social, economic and humanitarian conditions. In this regard, they called upon the United Nations and its agencies, particularly the World Health Organization, including through the COVAX initiative, to prioritize vaccination inside Syria.
The ministers emphasized the need to increase humanitarian assistance to all Syrians throughout the country without discrimination, politicization and preconditions in order to support improving the humanitarian situation in Syria and achieving progress in the political settlement process, and called upon the international community, the United Nations and its humanitarian agencies to enhance their efforts in this regard.
They stressed the need to facilitate the safe and voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons. In this regard, they expressed their readiness to continue interaction with all relevant parties, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other specialized international agencies.
They highlighted the importance of cooperation and support for confidence-building initiatives between the Syrian parties regarding the release of detainees, especially women, children and the elderly, which will contribute to the advancement of the political process by creating positive atmosphere between Syrian parties based on mutual trust.
The ministers decided to assign the envoys of the three countries to continue their efforts to achieve the common goals.