Qatar calls for ‘Plan B’ on Syrian crisis within weeks
BEIRUT - ReutersQatar has called on world powers to prepare a “Plan B” for Syria within weeks and set up a no-fly zone to provide a safe haven inside the country in case international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi fails to make progress in the crisis.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani said he believed that Arab and European countries would be ready to take part, despite their public reluctance to commit the forces needed for such a mission. Western powers have made clear that they are opposed to direct intervention.
Sheikh Hamad also said he hoped that Washington would focus more on Syria after the presidential election in six weeks’ time. “I believe that within weeks we should have a Plan B,” Sheikh Hamad told CNN in an interview. “You need to make safe-haven areas first of all for the people. That will require a no-fly zone. “If the Syrians want to break that, that’s another subject. That also needs somebody to have the teeth to tell them: ‘Don’t do that, because that will not be allowed’.”
Western powers have resisted the idea, but Sheikh Hamad suggested that countries may be prepared to bypass the U.N. Security Council. “A lot of Arab countries will participate and ... also European countries will participate,” he said, “and ... I hope that after the election the American government looks at this matter in a different way.”