By Iran Review
Iran has proposed the formation of a contact group to help end the violence in Syria, while stressing that dialog is the only solution to the crisis in the Arab country.
“When a nation is hit by crisis, it is one of the customary methods of international relations to establish a contact group by impartial countries to manage the parties involved in the crisis and to pave the way for mutual understanding, interaction, and dialogue,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said at a press conference after a one-day international consultative meeting on the Syrian situation in Tehran.
Salehi said that more discussions about the technicalities regarding the contact group will be held in the near future.
He noted that forming the contact group will be in line with Iran’s policy to look for a democratic solution to the Syrian situation.
“The political, demographic, and geopolitical features of Syria are such that make internal and political dialogue the only possible solution to this crisis,” the Iranian foreign minister said during the meeting on the Syrian situation in Tehran.
“Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, Iran has highlighted the priority of political and peaceful measures and strategies for the restoration of peace to this country,” Salehi added.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has rejected foreign military intervention as a solution to the Syrian unrest, saying dialogue is the only key to the ongoing crisis in the Arab country.
“Iran is against the killing of unarmed people and citizens by any side,” he added.
“All of the countries that somehow play a role in the Syrian crisis must accept the fact that the political, demographic and geopolitical features of Syria are such that make internal and political dialogue the only possible solution to this crisis,” the Iranian foreign minister said.
Salehi warned against fueling the Syrian crisis by arming the insurgents and preparing the ground for the operation of extremist groups such as al-Qaeda, saying this will spread the tensions to other states and make its management ever more difficult.
He further expressed Iran’s support for the measures taken by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to peacefully defuse the Syrian crisis.
Iran has always been a “part of the solution to regional crises” over the past years as is attested by Tehran’s “positive and influential” role in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon, he added.
He concluded by thanking the participants in the international summit, saying their wisdom will contribute to the establishment of peace in Syria through comprehensive national dialogue.
Delegates from more than 30 countries, including Russia, China, Iraq, and Jordan attended the event in Tehran.
In a Thursday message to the consultative meeting in Tehran, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that Iran’s initiative has opened opportunities to find a peaceful solution to the Syrian situation. He called on all nations to actively support efforts to stop, what he warned could soon turn into, a long-term civil war in the country.
Iran’s Foreign Minister has also lashed out at Western countries for their pursuit of ‘the failed logic of power’ instead of ‘the power of logic’ over the Syrian unrest.
“Westerners think that they can control everything via military might, but such policy failed in Iraq and Afghanistan and will also be defeated in Syria,” Salehi said.
It would be a mistake to topple the Syrian government by mounting pressure on it, taking off-the-cuff measures and running interference in the country’s affairs, he added.
He warned against the spread of extremism in case of the continuation of the Syrian crisis, calling on all countries, particularly the regional states, to exercise prudence in order to settle the unrest in the Arab country.
The Iranian minister emphasized that a ‘Syrian-Syrian’ solution without any foreign meddling would be the best way to resolve the unrest in the country, saying the Syrian people have national sovereignty and can make decision in this regard.
Salehi once again voiced Iran’s readiness to prepare the necessary ground for resolving the Syrian unrest and expressed hope that the government and insurgents would declare a ceasefire to stop bloodshed in the country.
He further announced that Syrian Minister for National Reconciliation Ali Haidar would make a visit to Tehran.
The top Iranian diplomat added that Iran has been in contact with insurgents in Syria since almost a year ago and noted that there are different groups among the insurgents including those inside and outside the country.
There is a difference of views between Iran and the insurgents in Syria while in some occasions both sides share common ideas, he noted.
Salehi said, in line with its principles, Iran believes that every nation should enjoy civil rights including human rights, justice and freedom, independence and respect.
He pointed to Iran’s proposal to host talks between the Syrian government and insurgents in a bid to end the 16-month violence in the Arab nation and stated that most insurgents are ready to hold negotiations with the government in Iran without any precondition.
Iranian Foreign Minister also said the Islamic Republic will attend the upcoming extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to help reduce differences through dialogue.
“By attending the summit, we will express our viewpoints and try to bridge the gaps and narrow the differences through dialog,” Salehi said.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran seeks to heal the rifts and reduce the differences, and focus more on joint issues through such talks,” he added.
Salehi said that apart from attending the summit, the Iranian delegation will also meet and hold talks with Saudi officials on regional developments.