Russia and Qatar to cooperate over Syria

Russia and Qatar to cooperate over Syria
2 min read
20 January, 2016
Russia and Qatar's bilateral meetings wrapped up on Tuesday with calls for increased cooperation between the two states over the Syrian crisis.
Sheikh Tamim and Vladimir Putin discussed regional political and economic crises on Monday [AFP]
Calls for increased cooperation between Moscow and Doha over the Syrian conflict and in the oil and gas markets concluded bilaterial meetings between Qatar and Russia in Moscow on Tuesday.

The meeting between Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim al-Thani and Russian President Vladimir Putin came ahead of planned Syria peace talks set for Geneva on 25 January.

Both leaders underscored the necessity for a "satisfactory solution" to help end the Syrian crisis and agreed to intensify cooperation to end the suffering of Syrian civilians, the Qatar News Agency reported.

"Qatar has indeed been supporting a political settlement from the first day," Sheikh Tamim said. "We count on friends in Russia to find a solution to the Syrian people's suffering and political settlement that meets the demands of the Syrian people."

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Russia and Qatar have, since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, stood on opposing sides of the conflict.

Following the meetng, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said both Qatar and Russia agreed on the necessity for the talks to go ahead.

The two states were in agreement over the necessity to "raise the efficiency of anti-terrorist action in the framework of international efforts" Lavrov said.

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict as well as the crises in Libya were also subjects of discussion during the meeting.

The Qatari leader called on Russian support for a two-state solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict.

"We count on Russia in helping the Palestinian people to have their legitimate rights and in alleviating the suffering of the people of Gaza," Sheikh Tamim said.

Economic cooperation was also at the forefront of the bilateral discussions.

"We need to discuss cooperation and coordination of approaches in the energy sector, particularly in the gas sector [and] look at investment cooperation," Putin said on Monday.

With both countries' major energy producers adversely affected by the recent drop in energy prices, increased cooperation over political issues suggests a narrowing of differences that could bode well for the success of the Geneva talks schedued for the end of this month.