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Qatar rejects normalising ties with 'criminal' Assad

AFP  |  Doha 

Qatar's ruled out on Monday the possibility of re-opening an embassy in Damascus, in line with some other Gulf countries, calling Syrian a war criminal.

"Normalisation (of relations) with the Syrian regime at this stage is the normalisation of a person involved in war crimes, and this should not be acceptable," said at a press conference.

Al-Thani said the reasons why Assad -- who was elected unopposed in 2000 and has stayed in power during nearly eight years of civil war -- was excluded from the international community are still in place.

He added that under Assad should not be allowed back into the -- its membership was suspended in 2011 -- as "the Syrian people are still under bombardment... by the Syrian regime".

His comments come after Gulf neighbours the and announced late last month they reopened their embassies.

The UAE's tweeted that his country was doing so in part because of the influence of and one of Qatar's strongest allies, Turkey, in

has been a staunch supporter of and has expanded its military footprint in throughout the course of the conflict. That move also emphasised the foreign policy differences between the three Gulf states.

For the past 19 months has been in a deep diplomatic dispute with the UAE and Bahrain, in part over the direction of Doha's regional foreign policy in recent years.

has been instrumental in the Syrian civil war supplying weapons to rebel groups, according to institutions such as the

Syria's has pleaded with Arab leaders not to rebuild relation with Assad as his government now controls almost two-thirds of the country following military backing from and

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 14 2019. 20:05 IST