Qatar’s government will continue to arm the Syrian opposition even if the US decides to back away from the conflict, the Gulf country’s foreign minister has said.
Speaking to Reuters last night, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani added that Qatar would cooperate with others in the region before moving forward on such a plan.
“We want to have the US with us, for sure, they have been our historic ally,” Sheikh Mohammed told the newswire. He added:
“But if they want to change their minds, are we going to change our position? For us, in Qatar at least, we are not going to change our position. Our position is based on principles, values and on our assessment of the situation there.”
US President-elect Donald Trump has previously said he would rather focus American efforts on fighting ISIS than backing the rebels.
This could even mean partnering with Russia – embattled Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s ally.
Sheikh Mohammed also said that ISIS is the product of a civil war fueled by Al Assad. Thus, not unseating him could lead to the creation of even more extremist groups, he warned.
Also yesterday, the foreign minister criticized politicians such as Trump for gaining followers by hitting out at Islam.
“Unfortunately these narratives … will cause problems for decades because in Europe and the United States, the Muslim community is part of the texture of their society …
It will help them maybe to win the election but it will last for decades, it will create a problem within their communities.”