Publishe Date: 11:38 PM - 7/15/2012 | Print

Iran ready to host talks between Syrian government and opposition: FM

Politics - Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has announced that Iran is ready to host negotiations between the Syrian government and the country’s opposition.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to hold a meeting with the Syrian opposition and invite them to Iran, and we are ready to pave the way for negotiations between the opposition and the Syrian government,” Salehi told reporters in Tehran on Sunday.

Salehi added, “We believe that the Syrian issue should be resolved through a Syrian-Syrian solution, and nothing, no rule, and no government, should be imposed (on Syria) from outside.”

Commenting on the efforts to defuse the crisis made by Kofi Annan, the UN-Arab League joint special envoy on Syria, Salehi said, “We have announced that we support all efforts by Kofi Annan.”

He added, “So far, Mr. Kofi Annan has impartially and fairly dealt with the issue, and this has caused certain regional countries to express concern over this fact, which is regrettable.

“However, the realities are coming to light, and, seemingly, it can be generally said that there are great hopes for a way out of the Syrian crisis.”

Salehi also said, “We are in extensive talks with Kofi Annan. Kofi Annan has presented good proposals, including the six-point plan and an additional proposal meant to reinforce it.”

Annan has put forward a six-point plan for ending the crisis in Syria, which calls for a UN-supervised ceasefire by all parties, the withdrawal of soldiers and heavy weapons from cities, and the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

In addition, the former secretary general of the United Nations reached an agreement on a “new approach” to help end the violence across the country during his meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on July 9.

Salehi added, “The Syrian issue is a very sensitive one, and, God forbid, if no proper measure is taken in regard to Syria, the entire region will fall into disarray.”

He also expressed hope that effective steps would be taken to help improve the situation in Syria through cooperation between the United Nations, Iran, and certain other regional countries.


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