Iran hopes for change in Qatar’s Syria policy

Iran hopes for change in Qatar’s Syria policy
Wed Jun 26, 2013 21:41:45

Iran says the whole region will benefit if the new Qatari ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani changes his country’s policy on the crisis in Syria, pledging to help Doha in doing that.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Wednesday that, “We hope that the new Emir would pay special attention to the Syria issue and seriously reconsider [his country's] past policies” so that peace and stability would return to Syria and the Syrian people are saved from the ongoing suffering and bloodshed.

Salehi, who was speaking during a press conference with his Tajik counterpart, Hamrokhon Zarifi, in Tehran, said all countries in the region will be benefited by a change in Qatar’s policy of supporting anti-Syria militants. “If a power vacuum is created in Syria, it will have a disastrous effect on the entire region, from which no country will emerge unscathed.”

On Tuesday, Qatari ruler Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani officially abdicated power in favor of his son, Sheikh Tamim. The 61-year-old Emir, who had overthrown his father in a coup in 1995, handed over the power to his 33-year-old son after 18 years of ruling the country.

The Iranian minister said, “We offer a helping hand to Qatar, and in view of a power shift in this country, we hope that the country would enter a new era of international interaction with the countries in the region and others”.

Salehi also offered congratulations to Sheikh Tamim, wishing felicity for the Qatari government and nation.

“Although we have different views on major issues in the region, this has not hindered good political relations between the two countries and we hope these [bilateral] ties would further expand in the new era,” the Iranian diplomat stated.

Qatar’s international standing has been greatly undermined, particularly across the Muslim world, because of its deep involvement in supporting the foreign-backed militancy against the Syrian government.

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