The Gulf state has repeatedly expressed its refusal to normalise with the Syrian regime for its human rights abuses against the people of Syria.
The Syrian opposition has praised Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s “principled and humane” speech on the Syria crisis at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Tuesday.
“We witnessed an eloquent example of how the Syrian issue is handled in a principled, humane, and morally sound point of view, by placing the Syrian people at the centre,” Dr. Belal Tourkya, Charge D’Affairs at the Embassy of Syria in Qatar, told Doha News.
The amir gave his powerful speech at the UNGA in New York in front of world leaders and policy makers, where he shed light on the lack of action in holding war criminals in Syria accountable and ending the suffering of the Syrian people.
More than a decade later, the Bashar Al Assad regime remains in power in Damascus, carrying out flagrant human rights violations and massacring Syrians.
“In our region the international community has failed to hold the war criminals in Syria accountable for what they [are] perpetuating. And in further disillusionment, some are seeking to turn the page on the tragedy of the Syrian people,” said Amir Tamim.
The Qatari leader added that the Syrian crisis represents “an important lesson regarding the consequences of the absence of a long-term vision from the active forces of the international community”.
Commenting on the amir’s remarks, Dr. Tourkya praised the Qatari leader for pointing out the failure of the international community in holding the Assad regime to account.
“Our core messages remain the same and resonate strongly with what His Highness stated in his speech that the great sacrifices made by the Syrian people deserve a solution that achieves their aspirations of a unified, peaceful and stable Syria,” said Dr. Tourkya.
Refusal to normalise
The Gulf state has repeatedly expressed its unwavering stance regarding its refusal to normalise with the Assad regime for its crimes against Syrians. Qatar’s position has been praised on global levels, as several Arab nations warm towards the Syrian regime.
The Syrian diplomat expressed his hope for more members of the international community to adopt a similar stance, stressing that the UN “cannot reduce the political solution to drafting a constitution.”
“Qatar’s position regarding Syria has always been an advanced one in the international arena, refusing to compromise the demands of the Syrian people and turning a blind eye to the heavy price paid,” said Dr. Tourkya.
Qatar was among the countries that openly called on Assad to step down since the beginning of the Syria uprising in 2011, and was the first Arab country to shut down its embassy in the war-torn country.
It was also the first to establish a consulate for the Syrian opposition.
“The Syrian people highly appreciate the heartful commitment demonstrated consistently by HH the Amir to the Syrian cause,” said Dr. Tourkya.
Last week, Sheikh Tamim told French outlet Le Point that the reason taken by the Arab League in 2011 in suspending the Assad regime’s membership for his crimes remains more than a decade on.
Recent months have witnessed efforts by Algeria to reinstate the Syrian regime’s membership in the Arab League ahead of the summit in November, which is scheduled to take place in Algiers. The high-profile summit will bring together leaders from across the Arab world.
“Syrians have found the sisterly nation of Qatar and its leadership by their side in an honourable, ethical and consistent manner. Syrians will never forget this noble stance,” said Dr. Tourkya.
The Syrian envoy also joined the amir in welcoming football fans from across the globe to Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
“This tournament exemplifies Qatar’s role in creating a world of friendship, bridges of understanding and shared humanity,” he said.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that at least 1,271 civilians, including 229 children, and 104 victims of torture were killed in Syria in 2021 alone.
The UN Human Rights Office estimates more than 306,000 civilians have been killed over the span of 11 years in Syria, with independent rights group estimating the number to be much higher.
According to the UN, there are 5,724,230 Syrian refugees as of 31 March.