MARRAKECH, Morocco Dec 12 Qatar said on
Wednesday Syrian rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar
al-Assad were on the verge of victory and said the world had a
duty to support them.
Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani told a
"Friends of Syria" meeting in Morocco that Assad's rule was
finished after the 20-month-old uprising which has brought rebel
fighters to the edge of Damascus.
"This meeting has exceptional significance. It is taking
place at a time when the Syrian people are about to complete
their victory and achieve their legitimate aspirations for which
they have sacrificed their blood and souls," Sheikh Hamad said.
"Our humanitarian and moral duty calls on us to provide
support through legitimate means to those who are fighting
against oppression and for freedom," Sheikh Hamad said.
He also called for assistance to ordinary Syrians, including
refugees he said were living under appalling conditions as
winter sets in, and proposed a donors' meeting.
Speaking at the same opening session of the talks, Saudi
Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Feisal said his country was
donating $100 million in humanitarian aid.
Sheikh Hamad said Assad's rule was "effectively over".
"The opposition forces are expanding their control and the
authority of the regime is eroding. It (has to rely on) planes
to strike at civilians, and schools," he said.
Sheikh Hamad urged the U.N. Security Council to impose a
ceasefire and provide for a transition of power.
"There is no chance left for any dialogue with a regime
which has lost its legitimacy. The next stage should provide for
national unity government" inclusive of Syria's minorities and
sects, he said.