Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, holds a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (not pictured) at the Sheraton Grand in the Qatari capital Doha, Qatar January 13, 2019. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via Reuters
DOHA (Reuters) – Qatar’s foreign minister said on Monday that he saw no need to re-open an embassy in Damascus, nor any encouraging signs for a normalisation of ties with the Syrian government.
Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani also said Qatar still objects to Arab League membership for Syria.
Syria’s membership of the Arab League was suspended in 2011 over the government’s violent response to protests at the start of what turned out to be an almost eight-year war.
Some Arab states, including some that once backed rebels against President Bashar al-Assad, are seeking to reconcile with him after decisive gains by his and allied forces in the war.
“Since day one Qatar had reasons for which it supported suspending (Arab League) membership and those reasons are still there, so we do not see any encouraging factor,” Al Thani said at a press conference.
Reporting by Eric Knecht; Writing by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky