TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday that the national reconciliation agreements signed between the government and the opposition including the one in Homs indicate that the solution to the conflict can be found inside Syria.
According to an agreement with the Syrian government, opposition militants left the old city of Homs in May.
Zarif, who was talking in a conference of ‘Syria Friends’ in Tehran, said that the fuelling of sectarianism, extremism and violence in Syria by foreign elements has exacerbated the situation in the country, which has in effect influenced the entire Middle East region.
Violence and extremism pose fundamental threats to the peace and stability in the whole world, Zarif told the conference which brought together parliament foreign policy committee chairmen from a number of Latin American, African, and Middle Eastern countries.
He added Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had deeply felt the danger of such threats and proposed a plan to eradicate violence and extremism in the world.
During his address at the 68th session of the UN General Assembly in September 2013, Rouhani called for a “world against violence and extremism”.
In December, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the proposal, entitled “The World against Violence and Extremism (WAVE)”.
Zarif went on to say that no problem can be resolved by resorting to violence.
The foreign fighters in Syria should abandon their personal ambitions and military strategies and admit that the Syrian crisis can only be resolved politically.
Since the outset of the crisis, Iran has respected the legitimate rights of the Syrian people and regarded political solution and dialogue as the only solution to the conflict, he stated.
He added that Iran has made great endeavors in this respect.
As a general policy, Iran is ready to help resolve the Syrian crisis and send humanitarian aid there, Zarif stated.
The Syria crisis, which began in 2011, pits President Bashar al-Assad’s forces against anti-government militants and foreign terrorists. Over 162,000 people have been killed in the fighting, and millions have been forced to flee from their homes.
‘Democracy cannot be established through sending money and weapons to fighters’
Iranian Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani told the same meeting that democracy cannot be established in Syria by sending money and weapons to militants fighting the government.
Iran has always supported establishing democracy in Syria, but not by resorting to violent ways or sending weapons to the country, he said.
The sending of weapons to militants by certain countries has complicated the situation in Syria, the top lawmaker regretted.
Larijani said Syria is among the countries that defend the Palestinian people’s rights and some Western countries triggered the war there to help the Zionist regime.
He added that the resistance of the Syrian people against foreign-backed militants and terrorists shows that a nation can stand on its own feet to confront such countries.
‘Election carries message of support for political solution’
Syrians will go to polls on June 3 to elect a president.
Larijani said the election bears the message that the government respects the views of the people and that the Syrians back “political solution” to the civil war in their country.
Larijani voiced hope that the terrorists would not cause any hurdles in the process of election and the people would participate massively in the election.
Bolivia reiterates opposition to military intervention in Syria
Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of Bolivia Marcelo William Elio Chavez once again reiterated his country’s opposition to any military intervention in Syria, saying that La Paz has always defended the sovereign right of the country.
About 30 parliamentary delegations have participated in the meeting. Russia was also represented at the conference.
The meeting was intended to support presidential election in Syria.