Syria plan has 3pc chance of success: Emir

A UN-Arab League peace plan for Syria has only a three percent chance of working, the Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani said on a visit to Rome yesterday, as a UN-backed ceasefire was marred by ongoing violence.

The Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and his wife Clio Napolitano at the Quirinal Palace in Rome at the start of their two-day state visit to Italy yesterday.

The Emir told a press conference that the chances for success “are no higher than three percent”, and that the Syrian people should not be supported through peaceful means but “with arms”.

Qatar has taken a hawkish stance in favour of the year-old rebellion against Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, who stressed the “close collaboration” between Italy and Qatar on the topic of Syria, said Rome was willing to send in observers to help oversee a truce aimed at ending 13 months of bloodshed. The observers’ mission is part of the six-point peace plan that Syria agreed with UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

The UN-backed ceasefire came into force at dawn on Thursday, but since then, at least 55 people, mostly civilians, have been reported killed in violence.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said yesterday that 11,117 people have been killed in 13 months of unrest — 7,972 civilians and 3,145 military and gunmen, including fewer than 600 rebel fighters. Earlier this month, Syria’s UN envoy demanded that Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Western nations not undermine Annan’s peace mission by paying and supporting opposition groups.

Source: AFP

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