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UN envoy to Lebanon backs Zarif’s regional peace plan

17 August 2015 8:02


The United Nations (UN) special coordinator for Lebanon has welcomed an initiative by Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that stresses regional cooperation to resolve the crises in the Middle East.

Sigrid Kaag said on Sunday that the initiative by the Iranian foreign minister is in line with the UN policy in the region, including in Syria and Yemen, according to a report on IRNA’s English-language website.

Kaag added that the UN also welcomes what she described as Iran’s open-door policy in the wake of a nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 countries.

Iran and the P5+1 countries – the US, France, Britain, Russia and China plus Germany – reached a landmark agreement in Vienna on July 14, on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

The UN envoy went on to say that Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have links with certain parties in Lebanon and can play a positive role to end the political deadlock over picking a new president for Lebanon.

Lawmakers in the Lebanese parliament have repeatedly failed to pick a successor to former President Michel Sleiman, who left office at the end of his mandate in May last year. The power vacuum is considered as the longest since 1990, when Lebanon’s civil war ended.

In a press conference with his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil in Beirut on August 12, Zarif said that the recent agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program proved that the country is advocating diplomacy and dialogue rather than confrontation.

Zarif added that Iran has incorporated such logic of dialogue and constructive cooperation in its relations with other countries in the Middle East, saying he had submitted a proposal for talks between Iran and six Arab states of the Persian Gulf region during his recent trip to Qatar.

Iran has always been ready for dialogue with neighbors and there is no obstacle in the way of such talks, said Zarif, adding that such cooperation is needed to fight the rising threat of terrorism in the region.

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