‘Hands off Syria, Arabs tell Turks’


“… United States President Barack Obama’s decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq, by the end of this year precipitated the Arab League’s movement. Saudi Arabia and Qatar, in particular, led the Arab move — Qatar up front, Saudi Arabia in the background. 

Both countries feared that Turkey and Iran planned to divide the region between them: Iran in Baghdad and Turkey in Damascus. 

In a move that received little public attention, Qatar’s foreign minister flew two weeks ago to Ankara, to convey the Arab message. 

The Arab world wants an Arab solution to the Syrian crisis. In a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davotuglu, the Qatari minister explained that, unlike Libya, Syria is at the heart of the Arab world. Syria was among the founders of the Arab League, it participated in all the wars against Israel, its actions have affected the policies of both Jordan and Lebanon and its conduct since 1973 has assured a peaceful and stable situation on the Golan Heights and along the border with Israel. Hence, it is up to the Arab world to try to solve the Syrian crisis. 

According to some diplomatic sources, Davotuglu was unhappy with the Arab message. Immediately after the Qatari foreign minister’s departure, Davotuglu convened the Turkey-based Syrian opposition and promised assistance for toppling Bashar Assad. When the Arab foreign ministers convene Wednesday in Morocco, Davotuglu will be also there…..”

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