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Moscow and Doha divided over Assad’s legitimacy — Qatar FM

December 25, 2015, 16:59 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah said Bashar al-Assad and "his inhumane regime support terrorism and represent one of its main sponsors"
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© Alexander Yelistratov/TASS

MOSCOW, December 25. /TASS/. The legitimacy of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad creates division between Qatar's capital, Doha, and Moscow, Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah said on Friday after talks with Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

"We cannot conceal we have disagreements with Russian friends about Bashar al-Assad’s legitimacy," while having common positions on how the Syrian crisis should be resolved, he said.

"We know that Russia stands against use of force aimed at ousting ruling regimes," the minister said. "Also, we know that Russia calls for continuation of the political process. Besides, Russia has undertaken an obligation to battle terrorism in the region," he noted, adding that "according to our estimates, Bashar al-Assad and his inhumane regime support terrorism and represent one of its main sponsors".

Syria’s president was responsible for 300,000 Syrian deaths in the armed conflict, the minister said.

Lists should be compiled and agreed for Syrian opposition’s legitimate representatives at talks with Damascus and of the terrorist groups that operate within the country, he went on.

"We assume that top priority is to understand the logic which made some of the groups take up arms and to understand the goals and tasks of these groups and organisations," he said.

"If we realise and understand what is behind it we will be able to reach common stances and find the right path," Al Attiyah said. "It is crucial to continue work to move our positions closer in support of a serious political process and with the goal of resolving and stopping this tragedy.".

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