Al-Safir , Lebanon
July 10 2013
Al-Safir Publishes Terms of an Agreement on Syria. Why Did the
Lebanese Not Read into the Change that Occurred in Qatar?
by Dawud Rammal
So far, the Lebanese have failed to read into the ramifications and
outcomes of the changes that were seen in the state of Qatar, perhaps
because the Egyptian events topped all the concerns; or because the
Lebanese are very cautious when it comes to approaching the new Qatari
situation because they have interests in this small princedom; or
because Qatar successfully established relations with many influential
political and popular parties in Lebanon; and also because the fears
raised by the flow of Qatari money to some armed Lebanese groups. But
the Lebanese failed to notice that ending the situation of Sheikh
Ahmad al-Asir in Sidon clearly ‘clipped the wings’ of the Qatari
politics in Lebanon. This might be followed by a Qatari regression in
Lebanon, following a lengthy period of advanced Qatari partnership
with the influential countries on Lebanon. This princedom managed to
impose its vision and lured top international and Arab and regional
player in Lebanon into consulting it and taking its opinion whenever
they want to pass a deal or put solutions to the crises. The most
prominent example was the Doha Agreement which led to the election of
President Michel Sulayman and to the holding of the parliamentary
elections. A national unity government was later formed too. However,
it seems that the Qatari regression in Lebanon comes in the context of
the losses suffered by this state amid several losses in favour of the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia especially when it comes to the Syrian file.
Indeed, Saudi Arabia has recently succeeded in seizing the leadership
of the opposition’s Syrian Coalition from Qatar.
But the question that arises here is: Are the political changes in the
Qatari administration going to be confined to the ’emirate of gas’ or
will they have repercussions on the files associated with the previous
administration, the final decision of which was made by former Prime
Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin-Jasim Al-Thani?
“The available pieces of information indicate that the massive
political fall of the former Qatari rule practically means the fall of
all the public and secret commitments and agreements that Qatar had
already made, mainly the 10-point agreement concerning the phase that
will follow the supposed fall of the Syrian President Bashar al-Asad.
Al-Safir had access to highly important pieces of information
regarding a secret agreement that was made on the sidelines of the
Syrian opposition’s conference in Doha in November 2012. Most of the
conference’s attendees knew nothing about this agreement which was not
discussed with them. The available information indicates that the
agreement was made between the then-Foreign Minister of Qatar Hamad
Bin-Jasim Al-Thani, and his counterparts including Turkey’s Ahmet
Davutoglu and the UAE’s Abdullah Bin-Zayid Al-Nahyan, as well as
Robert Ford, the American ambassador to Syria, Riyad Sayf, the Syrian
opposition member who was then at the head of the Syrian opposition’s
Coalition, and Muhammad Riyad al-Shaqafah, the head of the MB group in
The Terms of the Agreement
The agreement – which was to be carried out following the fall of
Bashar al-Asad and the rise of a new regime – stipulated the
1. Reducing the number of the Syrian Army troops from 600,000 to 100,000.
2. Syria, under the new regime, is not entitled to reinstate the Golan
Heights, except through diplomatic and political tools and aside from
any military actions.
3. A peace treaty is to be signed between Israel and Syria under the
supervision of Washington, the European Union, and Qatar. A water pipe
is to be extended from the Ataturk Dam in Turkey through the Syrian
territories all the way to Israel.
4. Under the supervision and assistance of Washington, the new Syrian
regime shall get rid of all the chemical and biological weapons and
missiles of all kinds.
5. The new Syrian regime shall undertake, in writing, to stop
demanding to reinstate the Iskenderun territory and shall relinquish
some border towns that are inhabited by Turkmen in the governorates of
Aleppo and Idlib and give them to Turkey. In addition, all the
fighters of the PKK shall be expelled and the fugitives shall be
handed over in addition to blacklisting the PKK.
6. The new Syrian regime shall annul all the former agreements signed
with the Russian and Chinese companies in the field of underground
wealth exploration and weapons’ deals.
7. Qatar shall be allowed to install a gas pipe through the Syrian
territories all the way to Turkey and from there to Europe.
8. Qatar and the UAE shall pledge to reconstruct Syria, provided that
the privileges of the gas and oil exploration in the Syrian lands and
the Mediterranean Sea are given to the Qatari and Emirati companies
9. Limiting the relations with Iran, Russia and China and boycotting
ties with Hizballah and the Palestinian movements that refuse to
10. An Islamic, non radical regime shall be established in Syria, the
leaders of which are to start implementing the terms of this agreement
as soon as the opposition accesses power.
“The signatories of the agreement back then agreed on escalating the
confrontations and increasing the military pressure on the regime in
the next few months. They were expecting that the regime will collapse
between April and May 2013. The available pieces of information also
indicate that the field developments – that reached a pinnacle with
the fall of the strategic Al-Qusayr village and the Turkish popular
protests, as well as the escalation of the already-stringent Russian
position – tipped the balance. Furthermore, the fact that Al-Asad’s
regime did not collapse within months as expected led to failure of
the plan and to the fall of those who were working on it. The change
in Qatar thus occurred by the end of the spring season and the
beginning of the summer. This was followed by the resounding fall of
the MB rule in Egypt. However, this does not mean that Syria is
shielded against a political change under the terms of a new political
administration, the features of which will start to emerge by early
[Translated from Arabic by K. Peltekian]