|Iran say Ukraine election is a positive step toward peace, stability||
TEHRAN – The Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Monday describing the presidential election in Ukraine as a positive step toward establishment of peace and stability in the country.
The presidential election in Ukraine on Sunday meant to unify the divided nation.
The Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said Iran hoped the election would put an end to the political crisis in the country and restore peace and national consensus there.
Some 35.5 million Ukrainians were eligible to vote. Polls have shown 48-year old billionaire candy-maker Petro Poroshenko has been elected as president.
Anti-government protests erupted in Ukraine since November, after Ukrainian President Yanukovych refrained from making a trade deal with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia.
The refusal caused months of unrest, which finally led to the ouster of Yanukovych in February.
In eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian rebels are fighting against the central government, a hastily organized referendum was held on May 11 in which the voters were asked whether they wanted to create a quasi-independent statelet from the Luhansk and Donetsk regions of Ukraine.
A similar referendum was conducted in Crimea in March that approved secession from Ukraine. Crimea was formally annexed by Russia days later.
Poroshenko says he will never recognize the Crimean referendum.
But his first priority, he said, was to end the “war and chaos” in eastern Ukraine. He vowed to negotiate and offer amnesty to those who laid down their weapons.
“The number one issue is that Ukraine will never recognize the illegitimate referendum and will never recognize the occupation of Crimea. And the strategic choice for the development of our country has been made by the Ukrainian people. Today, on May 25, in the first round the people have made their choice. And that choice is European integration,” Poroshenko said in an acceptance speech.
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