Qatar emir slams ‘international inaction’ over Syria

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The emir of Qatar, a strong supporter of the Syrian rebels, on Monday slammed what he called inaction by the international community over the conflict there, lamenting the failure to reach a political solution.

“It is no longer acceptable that influential states in the international community do not act to end the horrific tragedy and escalating humanitarian catastrophe” in Syria, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani told the Doha Forum.

He appeared to allude to Western countries, which have failed to agree to arm Syrian rebels, as the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime entered its third year in March.

Activists say more than 94,000 people have been killed.

He said that those countries, which he did not name, “want to decide themselves who should be the defender of the Syrian people,” in an apparent reference to concerns about the presence of radical Islamists among Syrian rebels.

Sheikh Hamad lamented the “failure of all international and Arab initiatives to get the Syrian regime to listen to the sound of reason.”

He expressed “sorrow at seeing the revolution of the Syrian people enter its third year without the clear perspective of an end to the bloodshed... because of the regime’s insistence on a military solution.”

The United States and Russia, a strong Assad ally, have proposed a peace conference for June, bringing together representatives of the regime and its opponents, with the aim of reaching a political solution.

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