QATAR AND RUSSIA BACK INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION IN SYRIA’S CHEMICAL ATTACK

MOSCOW, Russia, Apr 16 (NNN-QNA) – The Foreign Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, agreed with Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, on holding an independent investigation into the chemical attacks that took place in Khan Sheikhoun in Syria. He stressed that the perpetrators of crimes in Syria will be brought to justice. The Foreign Minister also stressed that Qatar will not contribute to any demographic change in Syria.

In a joint press conference with the Russian Foreign Minister, Sheikh Thani said, bilateral ties have been seeing significant improvement, since the visit of the Qatari Emir to the Russian Federation and meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He added that there was significant bilateral cooperation in the fields of investment, and oil and gas.

He said that today’s meeting focused on elevating cooperation in different fields, such as culture, sports, defence and other sectors. The Foreign Minister added that the two sides are committed to advancing their relations. He also touched upon cooperation between the GCC and Russia, confirming that Qatar supports these efforts.

On the four cities relief agreement in Syria, the Foreign Minister said, the agreement was humanitarian in nature and began since 2015. He noted that there were 65,000 civilians from different ethnicities and sects, put under siege. He stressed that all Syrians are looked at as civilians suffering from the siege and hunger. He noted that such agreements usually face many obstacles and almost always require a mediator to broker a deal.

The meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister also discussed developments in Yemen, Libya and Palestine, the Foreign Minister said.

On the Palestinian issue, he said that Qatar supports peace talks based on the two-state solution and international resolutions. He also praised Russia’s support of the Palestinian people and said, there were joint efforts in achieving a Palestinian reconciliation.

For his part, the Russian Foreign Minister said, he agrees with Sheikh Thani on the importance of finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis quickly. He said the U.S. air strike on Al-Shuairat airfield was against the law and added that Russia insists on holding an independent investigation into the chemical attack in Syria.

The Russian Foreign Minister added that his country and Qatar are united by their position, regarding the urgency of implementing a ceasefire, as well as, counter-terrorism and reaching a political solution to the crisis, in line with UN Security Council resolutions. Lavrov added that he discussed the Astana talks with the Foreign Minister, who said for his part that Qatar supports these talks.

Lavrov also said that there were continuous talks between Qatar and Russia on the urgent issues in the Middle-East, led by the Syrian crisis as well as Libya, Yemen, and Palestine. He noted that the two sides agree on resolving all these crises peacefully.

The Russian Foreign Minister then discussed the two sides’ agreement on cooperating, when they host World Cup 2018 and 2022 in Russia and Qatar respectively.

In concluding the press conference, Sheikh Thani expressed hope that today’s meeting would help strengthen bilateral ties. He also expressed Qatar’s hope of cooperating with Russia in dealing with regional issues and guaranteeing peace in the Middle-East.

Source: NAM News Network

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