Russian Ambassador to Qatar Nurmakhmad Kholov told TASS on Monday that Qatar take’s Moscow’s stance that only the people of Syria can choose the country’s future leader.
“As we have repeatedly told our partners, the issue of Bashar Asad’s presidency in Syria is not in the competence of Russia or Qatar or any other country,” Kholov said in an interview with TASS.
“This issue must be decided by the Syrian people only by means of transparent and legitimate elections,” the Russian ambassador said.
“Our colleagues in Qatar completely share this stance with us and believe that Moscow’s approaches in this regard are very constructive,” Kholov added.
He then went onto explain how Qatar wanted a role in the Syria peace talks being held in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana.
“The authorities of Qatar expressed their interest in joining this format, since the country, as one of the key players in the region, exercises major influence on the situation in Syria,” Kholov said.
He then went onto strangely call militant groups like Jaysh al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham as moderate opposition, and highlight Qatar’s influence over these militant groups.
“In political sense, Qatar has a certain influence on the moderate opposition in Syria – participants of the conflict,” Kholov said. “For instance, former president of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces Ahmad Moaz Al-Khatib is currently residing in Doha and he is an ideologist for certain groups of the moderate opposition, including Jaysh al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham,” he said.
“In this regard, we are extensively using political capabilities of the emirate for reaching our common tasks,” Kholov added.