Opposition: Qatar Diplomatic Row Could Affect Astana Talks

The progress of the Astana talks on the Syrian settlement may be threatened by states cutting off diplomatic relations with Qatar, depending on Turkey and Iran’s involvement in this diplomatic standoff, Tarek Ahmad, a member of the Damascus Platform opposition group and a member of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) said.

On June 5, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic relations with Qatar. The states accused Qatar of supporting terrorist groups, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist movement, as well as of interfering in other countries’ domestic affairs. Libya made a similar decision. Yemen cut diplomatic relations citing Doha’s links with Houthis. The Maldives took the same step, citing extremism and terrorism concerns.

“I believe, it can affect next Astana rounds. Astana is supported by 3 countries such as Russia, Iran and Turkey. Turkey and Iran are likely to support Qatar in this dispute and we could see that further developments may complicate the situation around Syria, when Iran and Turkey find themselves against Egypt and Saudi Arabia,” Ahmad said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier in the day that Ankara was “saddened” by the situation and urged for dialogue despite the existing disagreements.

“It is in the interest of Turkey and Iran to achieve results before the chances of Astana process are undermined by the regional confrontation,” Ahmad said.

 

 

 

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