Middle East

Qatar FM backs Syria political solution on Iran visit

Qatar's Foreign Minister, Chalid al-Atija (L) holds a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on February 26, 2014 in Tehran. (AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE)

TEHRAN: Qatar's foreign minister said Wednesday his country and Iran both back a "political solution" to the conflict in Syria despite their support for opposite sides.

"Everyone is agreed on one point, that the Syrian crisis should be resolved through a political solution," Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah told a joint news conference in Tehran with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

"There is a difference of views despite other points of commonalities. We consider them (Syrian rebels) revolutionary people calling for their rights in the face of fire and bullets," Attiyah added.

Qatar and Iran are at loggerheads over the three-year-old war in Syria that has torn the country apart and cost more than 140,000 lives.

Tehran is a staunch supporter of President Bashar al-Assad's regime, while Doha is a key backer of the Syrian rebels fighting to oust him.

Influential Iranian MP Alaeddine Boroujerdi said Wednesday during a visit to Damascus that Qatar was no longer a major player on Syria.

"Today everybody knows that the Syria file is no longer in the hands of Qatar," said Boroujerdi, who heads parliament's national security and foreign policy committee.

"We expect Qatar to play a different role, a new role... different from its previous approach... for a page to be turned," he said.

The MP was referring to reports of increased Saudi influence in the Syrian conflict at the expense of fellow Gulf state Qatar.





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