In March this year, Qatar joined forces with Turkey and Russia to push for a political resolution in Syria.
Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani stressed the need to set a specific date to complete the drafting of a new Syrian constitution, Doha’s state news agency [QNA] reported on Monday.
The Qatari official’s comment was made during the Ministerial Meeting of Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, held in Rome where the Gulf state reiterated its support for international and UN efforts to reach a political solution in the war-torn country.
Great to meet with @SecBlinken on the sideline of the Coaliton Ministerial meeting in Rome. We discussed Qatar USA strategic relations and joint cooperation to advance regional security and stability. pic.twitter.com/PAcmusytLR
— محمد بن عبدالرحمن (@MBA_AlThani_) June 28, 2021
According to QNA, Sheikh Mohammed said the completion of the draft constitution would later lead to the transition of the second phase, which would allow elections to be held in accordance with the new constitution.
The Qatari foreign minister also called for more global action to end the crisis in Syria which has now surpassed 10 years.
Sheikh Mohammed also met with several senior officials during the conference to discuss opportunities and initiatives that can pave the way to settling the ongoing conflict in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2254.
Among the officials he met was US Secretary of State Antony Blinken who discussed the crisis in Syria, Afghanistan as well as the latest developments in Libya.
“Great to meet with Secretary Blinken on the sideline of the Coaliton Ministerial meeting in Rome. We discussed Qatar USA strategic relations and joint cooperation to advance regional security and stability,” tweeted Qatar’s foreign minister.
Sheikh Mohammed also stressed the importance of easing the intensity of the fighting, reaching a permanent ceasefire and fighting terrorism, as well as the urgent need for delivery of humanitarian aid to all areas in Syria.
Trilateral efforts in Syria
In March this year, Qatar joined efforts with Turkey and Russia to launch a “trilateral consultation process” in a bid to push for an end to Syria’s decade-old conflict.
The three countries agreed that the war can only be resolved through political means.
Foreign ministers of all three countries met in the Qatari capital in the first ministerial-level meeting between Doha, Ankara and Moscow to discuss the war in Syria, stressing the need to “preserve sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity in the UN Charter”.
In a joint statement published after the meeting, the trio “reaffirmed their position” in cooperating with the UN’s envoy to Syria and delegates of the Constitutional Committee to “ensure its sustainable and effective work to achieve a Constitutional reform”.
They are also working to ensure the return of Syrian refugees to their lands while cooperating with confidence-building initiatives between Syrian parties to release detainees.
Qatar’s role in Syria
Since the re-election of President Bashar Al-Assad, Qatar has renewed its refusal to normalise with the regime as well as its rejection to allow its re-entry into the Arab League.
Despite the 2014 GCC crisis and pressure by neighbouring countries, Qatar’s position and foreign policy on Syria remained unchanged. In 2011, Doha was the first to close its embassy in Damascus – a move that was later replicated by several countries.
Although the Gulf crisis of 2014 was soon resolved, the region was met with yet another dispute in 2017 that led to a significant divide, with countries struggling to unite over the resolution to end the war in Syria.