BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:20 A.M.) – Qatar’s Ambassador to Russia, Fahd bin Mohammad Al-Attiyah told the Interfax News Agency on Sunday that Iran is entitled to defend its interests in Syria but must not sow the seeds of sectarian strife.
“Iran just like any other country has legitimate interests,” Al-Attiyah said, claiming that “we don’t mind these legitimate interests to be protected.”
“But what we mind is when they cross the line of legitimacy and when Iran starts, just like any other country, to entrench itself in a way that does not serve the Syrian interests, the Syrian people, when sectarianism becomes a policy in order to divide and control, and that is what we do not accept,” Al-Attiyah said.
“We urge Iran and others to reconsider their positions and really try to look at Syria, to look at what is good for Syria and the Syrians, first and foremost,” he said.
At the same time, Qatar is “happy to support Russia, Iran, and others, Turkey, if they are genuine and sure about this and come to support Syria from that principle,” the ambassador said.
Qatar currently has no diplomatic ties with Syria and has remained one of the biggest backers of the Syrian opposition groups fighting the government.
While both Qatar and Iran do not see eye-to-eye on Syria, they have remained important allies in the Persian Gulf region.