Qatari Ambassador to Russia Fahad Mohammed Attiyah said on Sunday that the consequences of the Gulf diplomatic row won’t be felt in the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva and praised Moscow’s role in solving the conflict.
In June, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar over allegedly supporting terrorism and interfering in domestic affairs of the countries.
Doha believes that the Gulf crisis will not affect the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva and lead to a split in the Syrian opposition’s High Negotiations Committee (HNC), Attiyah told Sputnik.
“No, I don’t think the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] crisis will affect this process, although the blockading countries might want to. Qatar stands firm that the crisis should not have any spillover effects on Syrian file or any other file,” the ambassador stated.
Some of the members of the HNC, which is backed by Saudi Arabia, are based in Doha. At the latest round of Geneva talks on July 10-14, Saudi Arabia demanded that they leave the ranks of the opposition’s delegation.
The ambassador stressed that Qatar cannot promise that the Arab countries would not intervene with the negotiations.
“What we cannot guarantee is what blockading nations are going to do, what Saudi really is going to do, what the Emirates are going to do, because they could act as spoiler nations. And they have indeed been acting in that way in the past,” he explained.
He then reiterated Doha’s commitment to the process and the principles that underpin it, stressing that the country is “happy to support and lend any effort” to achieve settlement in Syria.
The ambassador also praised Moscow’s role in settling the crisis.
“We back the Astana process, we back the Geneva process, we continue to support Russia’s efforts in resolving the crisis. I think Russia is leading a very constructive process, is trying to bring all the opposition and government to come and sit around the negotiating table. This takes time, it takes effort, but it also takes collective will by all the parties who are engaged in this process, both the United States, Europe, the Arab countries — Qatar, Saudi and Egypt, and of course Iran and Turkey and Russia,” the ambassador said.
Moscow showed support to Kuwait’s role as a mediator in settling the crisis with Qatar and will support all measures to quickly settle the issue, Qatari Ambassador to Russia Fahad Mohammed Attiyah told Sputnik.
“Russia has backed the Kuwaiti mediator and has asked all the people to come around the table of dialogue. And if needed, Russia is ready to come and support any effort for a speedy resolution,” the ambassador said.
He reminded that Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in his speech on Friday thanked Moscow “for the constructive stance that Russia took in this conflict.”
“Russia as a permanent member of the Security Council, as one of the founding nations for the UN system altogether, is and has been over the years a protector of the main principles of sovereignty, non-interference, non-regime change. And everything that these four blockading countries have been doing is the very violations that Russia is trying to prevent,” the ambassador explained, adding that Russia was one of the countries that rejected attempts of the four Arab states to convince them to join the diplomatic isolation of Qatar.
The process is complicated, but the situation could be resolved fairly soon under Russian leadership, he added.
The fifth round of the Astana talks on Syrian reconciliation took place on July 4-5, followed by the seventh round of intra-Syrian talks the auspices of the United Nations, that were held in Geneva on July 10-14. The next round of Geneva talks is expected to take place in September after the meeting in Astana.