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Leaked Documents Reveal Disagreement Between Turkey and Qatar on Syria

Turkey and Qatar disagree on the reform of the opposition coalition in Syria, leaked documents obtained by North Press indicate.
Leaked Documents Reveal Disagreement Between Turkey and Qatar on Syria
Leaked Documents Reveal Disagreement Between Turkey and Qatar on Syria

Minutes of a meeting that was held between the Foreign Minister of Turkey and a delegation of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) leaders in December 2021 revealed controversy between the SNC led by Salem al-Meslet and the former defected Prime Minister of Syria, Riyad Farid Hijab, residing in Qatar.

The controversy resulted from the meeting which Hijab has been preparing for in Doha.

Hijab, who defected from the Syrian government in 2012, is leading a movement of Syrian opposition powers to hold a seminar in the capital of Qatar, Doha, in February, to discuss paths to a political solution to the Syrian crisis. 

North Press obtained the minutes of the meeting that was held in December 2021 in Ankara with the participation of representatives of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, two Turkish intelligence officials, and a delegation of the SNC led by Salem al-Meslet. 

The minutes of the meeting revealed how Turkey plans for SNC’s policy and interferes in its organizational affairs as well as in its general political stance and the ties between it and other opposition groups and even in the appointment of leadership positions. 

The minutes of the meeting disclosed disagreements between the SNC and the former defected Syrian Prime Minister on the backdrop of the meeting that will be held in Doha with the participation of opposition powers and personalities.

Reports have recently leaked data about a project of restructuring at the hands of Hijab and directly supervised by Turkey and Qatar.

The reports revealed that more than 60 Syrian opposition figures are invited to attend the seminar, most notably the former president of the Syrian Coalition, Moaz al-Khatib, George Sabra, and some personalities who participated in the opposition meeting at the Riyadh Conference 1 held in 2015 and were later excluded from the Riyadh Conference 2 held in 2017.

The head of the National Coalition, Salem al-Meslet, the head of the Syrian Negotiations Committee Anas al-Abdah, and the co-chair of the Constitutional Committee Hadi al-Bahra will also participate.

Read Also: Meslet Meets Opposition Figures in Doha; Replies to Pedersen

The symposium will discuss most of the political files related to the negotiating process.

Meanwhile, the minutes of the meeting disclosed a dispute between Turkey and Qatar over this meeting and how Ankara through the NSC foiled the Doha meeting on Syria, which Doha has been planning for, and turned it into a pointless workshop. 

The text of the minutes of the meeting indicates that Hijab wants to find and run a monitoring committee embracing all social media platforms with countries under the slogan “The Political Solution in Syria.”

The minutes of the meeting suggested that Hijab’s call extended to all opposition platforms sought to form an impression indicating that the SNC is weak and that there are other legal opposition platforms where he is the only one who can bring together all those people if Turkey accepts this.

The minutes of the meeting bore the title “Main points in the Meeting between the SNC Delegation and Ankara – Istanbul 28/12/2021.”  

The meeting was attended by Salem al-Meslet, Ruba Habboush, Haytham Rahma, Abdulbaset Abdullatif, Munther Saras, Riyad al-Hassan, Abdulmajid Barakat, Abdul’ahad Staifo, Abdulhakim Bashar, and Abdullah Gaddo as representatives of the SNC.

From the Turkish side, the minutes named Mr. Ardam, as a representative of the Turkish Foreign Ministry; Abu Hamza and Haroun, representatives of the Apparatus. [No interpretation was given to what apparatus is meant here, but sources said it was the security apparatus.


This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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