Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has renewed the Islamic Republic’s call for a political solution to settle the Syrian unrest.

Iran's principled stance is based on the establishment of stability in Syria and the entire region, non-interference of foreign forces and a political solution to the Syrian issue through dialogue among Syrians, Salehi said in a meeting with Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki in Tunis on Tuesday.

Syria has been the scene of unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including security forces, have been killed in the unrest.

The West and the Syrian opposition blame Damascus for the year-long turmoil, but the government says “terrorists” are responsible for the unrest, which it says is being orchestrated from overseas.

Iran’s top diplomat also stressed the importance of improving Tehran-Tunis relations and expressed the Islamic Republic’s complete readiness to bolster bilateral ties in political, economic, cultural and technological fields.

The Islamic Republic is ready to promote economic cooperation with Tunisia by holding joint commission sessions in the near future, said Salehi.

The Tunisian leader, for his part, called for the expansion of cooperation with Iran in all spheres.

Marzouki asserted Iran's right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and said Tehran plays a leading role in regional and global developments.

The Iranian foreign minister also held a separate meeting with Tunisia’s Minister of Commerce and Handicrafts Bechir El Bachir Zaafouri and discussed ways to expand trade cooperation.

Salehi also called for laying the ground for the establishment of direct flights between Iran and Tunisia in order to accelerate the exchanges of visits between the two countries’ nationals.

Iranian Foreign Minister Salehi wrapped up his official two-day visit to Tunisia and returned home on Wednesday. His visit took place at the invitation of his Tunisian counterpart Rafik Abdessalem.

It was the first visit by a high-ranking Iranian official to Tunisia since the fall of the country’s Western-backed dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, in 2011.

In January 2011, popular protests by Tunisians led to the ouster of the Western-propped dictator.

Tunisia’s popular revolution sparked a wave of anti-regime protests - also known as the Islamic Awakening - in North Africa and the Middle East, which led to the downfall of long-time dictators in Egypt and Libya.

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News ID 181736