Clear measures sought to stop bloodbath in Syria

February 14, 2012

Qatar’s prime minister has urged Arab countries to take clear stances on the situation in Syria, saying there are four options on the table.

Violence has been escalating in Syria, with armed “terrorist” groups on Wednesday attacking the oil refinery in the central city of Homs, setting two storage tanks ablaze, state television reported.

Rights activists earlier reported that Syrian forces pressed a relentless assault on Homs, with dozens of civilians killed in a barrage of gunfire, mortars and shells.

Four options

Qatar’s Prime Minister Shaikh Hamad Bin Jasem Al Thani said “there is a feeling of helplessness among Arabs or some kind of surprise and there are no clear attitudes towards what is happening to the brothers in Syria.”

“The issue now does not require statements, but rather clear measures to end the bloodbath in Syria.”

However, he refused to divulge the options, telling Al Jazeera channel on Monday evening he would discuss them with fellow Arabs first.

Shaikh Hamad said there were special reasons for delaying meetings of the Arab foreign ministers on the Syrian issue.

The Arab League and the Arab Peace Initiative Committee were initially scheduled for Saturday, but were postponed to Sunday after the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries requested a 24-hour postponement that would allow them to meet in Riyadh and to coordinate their positions.

“There are reasons for the delay, but until when will the silence prevail? We have waited 11 months in the hope that the issue will be resolved peacefully, but it was never resolved and there was no productive cooperation with the Arab League,” Shaikh Hamad said.

Crucial factor

The prime minister said time was a crucial factor and there are intensive Arab and international consultations.

“There are several ideas up for discussion and the opinion of the international community is important. I have made and received several contacts and we are working on preparing a meeting where there will be reasonable outcomes.”

Shaikh Hamad, also his country’s foreign minister, said that Qatar was not pondering action to boycott China and Russia after the two countries vetoed a UN resolution on Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s regime.

However, he said that he was stunned by the Russian and Chinese veto.

“We worked closely within the Security Council to reach a draft that would be fair and satisfactory and would address some of their concerns,” he said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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