On April 26, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani said during an interview with France 24 TV that deploying Arab troops in Syria would only compacte the situation there. Mohammed bin Abdulrahman added that Qatar is only interested in a political solution of the conflict.
“Any move or any step should be within the policy of complete political transition in Syria according to ‘Geneva I’ resolution and there is a guarantee for the rights of the Syrian people. There must be a solution to stop the sufferings of the Syrian people … Sending Arab troops to Syria will complicate the situation,” the Qatar Tribune quoted Mohammed bin Abdulrahman as saying.
The foreign minister also revealed that Doha had told Washington that any decision on Syria should be aimed at fully solving the crisis and not just solving certain issues. This may be described as a hint to the US pressure on Iranian forces in Syria.
“During the recent visit to Washington, we clarified our policy towards Syria and told the US that if there was any decision towards Syria, that would be within the framework of a comprehensive solution to the Syrian crisis and not only in dealing with a specific issue,” Mohammed bin Abdulrahman added.
Senior US official told the WSJ earlier this month that US President Donald Trump is planning to establish an Arab force that would replace US troops in Syria and to pressure the Iranian forces in the country.
Qatar is not the first Arab ally of the US to criticize Trump’s new plan for Syria. Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir had said on April 24 that Qatar should be the one to deploy troops in the country. Some observers viewed al-Jubeir statement as a rejection of Trump’s plan.
With Saudi Arabia and Qatar both unwilling to finance the US operations or to deploy own troops in Syria, its highly likely that the Trump administration will have to implement its plans for Syria using the existing resources.