Iran can help facilitate Syria solution: France
French President Francois Hollande has said Iran can be a “facilitator” in a political solution to ongoing crisis in Syria, a French diplomat says.
The diplomat whose name was not revealed said Hollande made the remarks during a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani in New York on Sunday.
“Iran is a player [in the region], but also a facilitator,” the unnamed French official said.
The official, however, added that Hollande said “the question of [Syrian President Bashar] Assad could not be offered as an answer.”
The two sides held talks on the sidelines of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
On September 24, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tehran and the Assad government must be part of negotiations aimed at resolving the crisis in Syria.
“We have to speak with many actors; this includes Assad, but others as well. Not only with the United States of America, Russia, but with important regional partners, Iran, and Sunni countries such as Saudi Arabia,” Merkel said.
Earlier on Sunday, Hollande said French fighter jets had targeted for the first time a Daesh training camp in Syria.
The airstrikes in Syria are viewed as an extension of France’s attacks against Daesh-held positions in Iraq. The French air force started reconnaissance flights over Syria earlier in September in a bid to gather information on the positions of Daesh.
This is while France is among the Western countries that have been known to be supporting the militants fighting against the Assad government.
Iran has repeatedly said a solution to the ongoing situation in Syria is tied to the elimination of foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists operating in the region, especially in Syria and Iraq.
Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011 with reports saying more than 250,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
A report published by The New York Times says some 30,000 militants from over 100 countries, including more than 250 Americans, have traveled to Syria and Iraq since 2011.