Rome - Apr 16, 2012 - 19:12
A UN-Arab League peace plan for Syria has only a three per cent chance of working, the emir of Qatar said on a visit to Rome, as a UN-backed ceasefire was marred by ongoing violence.
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani told a press conference on Monday 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.
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 Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Monday 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.