Iran, UN hold talks over crisis in northwestern Syria

February 8, 2020 - 18:17

TEHRAN - A senior official at the Iranian Foreign Ministry and the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria conferred on Saturday over the latest developments in the war-hit Syria, especially on the crisis in Idlib and Aleppo provinces. 

In the meeting, Ali Asghar Khaji, the senior aide of the Iranian foreign minister for special political affairs, and Geir O. Pedersen conferred on the most important events in the war-torn country, including recent bloody conflict in Idlib, constitution committee, the working group for exchange of detainees and kidnapped people, the issue of displaced people and other humanitarian issue.

Possibility of expansion of cooperation between Iran and the UN to settle the Syria crisis was also discussed in the meeting. 

Khaji also pointed to the importance of campaign against terrorism and the necessity of implementing the Sochi agreement, saying, “Iran is well prepared to settle conflict between Syria and Turkey and prevent use of civilians as the human shield by any warring sides.”

Both officials said resorting to Syrian-Syrian dialogue and diplomatic path are the best ways to put an immediate end to the long-running conflict in the country. 

Pedersen, who has traveled to Iran within the framework of consultation with the regional countries, appreciated Iran’s efforts to keep the Syrian constitution committee’s activities. 

On Thursday, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations said that his country, which is one of the guarantors of the Astana group, is ready to do its best to settle the conflicts between Turkey and Syria in Idlib province.

"Iran is ready to do its best to settle differences between Damascus and Ankara over developments in Idlib province," Majid Takht-Ravanchi said as he pointed to Iran’s unwavering determination in campaign against terrorism. 
 
"Situation in the region is worrisome, so, we must try to prevent the crisis from being uncontrollable," he said in a meeting at the United Nations Security Council. 

Highlighting the Sochi agreement over the situation in Idlib, Takht-Ravanchi said, "The Astana meeting underlined the importance of the Sochi agreement." 

On Thursday, Damascus denounced the near-simultaneous deployment of Turkish military forces to Syria’s Idlib and the recent Israeli air aggression against the Arab country, saying they prove that Ankara works hand in glove with the Tel Aviv regime.

“Turkish forces, in a close collaboration and exposed concurrence and under the cover of the Israeli aggression, infringed upon Syrian borders and were deployed in areas stretching between the towns of Binnish, Ma'arrat Misrin, and Taftanaz. Such a step affirms the common interests of Turkish and Israeli regimes regarding the protection of terrorists, particularly Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra Front), and to impede the advancement of the Syrian army in Idlib and Aleppo, and to prevent the complete defeat of their proxies in Syria,” an unnamed source at the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said in a statement carried by Syria’s official news agency SANA.  

The ministry official added that both the Turkish military deployment and the Israeli airstrikes in the early hours of Thursday were a blatant violation of the Syrian sovereignty and international law, and clearly prove to the entire world the parties that support, sponsor and protect terrorism in Syria. 

The development took place shortly after Syrian air defense forces intercepted several missiles launched from the occupied Golan Heights and southern Lebanon targeting the al-Kiswa area, Marj al-Sultan, Baghdad Bridge and South of Izra' around the capital, Damascus.

MJ/PA

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