Iran reiterates diplomacy as only solution to Syria crisis
A senior Iranian official has reiterated Tehran’s stance on the necessity for resolving the crisis in Syria through a political approach that respects the will of the Syrian nation.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian had a telephone conversation with UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, on Sunday to discuss the latest developments pertaining to international talks aimed at settling the conflict in Syria.
“The settlement of the crisis [in Syria] is only possible through a political approach and respect for the Syrian people’s will, based on Syrian-Syrian talks between the government and those opposition groups that believe in a political approach,” Amir-Abdollahian added.
The senior Iranian diplomat stated that preparing a list of opposition groups, which are committed to a political process, alongside a list of terrorist groups depends on negotiations between all influential parties and efforts by the United Nations.
De Mistura, for his part, said Iran plays an important role in resolving the crisis in Syria.
The phone conversation came after more than 100 members of opposition groups from inside and outside Syria took part in a two-day meeting in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, which began on December 9.
In a statement the next day, the participants insisted that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his aides “quit power with the start of the transition period” set out during recent Syria talks held in Vienna, Austria.
A number of senior Saudi figures also took part in the Riyadh meeting. Saudi Arabia is a main supporter of militant groups operating against the government of President Assad.
Amir-Abdollahian has said that groups linked to the Takfiri Daesh terrorists were involved in the Riyadh talks and that Tehran does not approve of the meeting.
“Some of the terrorist groups linked to Daesh are involved in the talks. These terrorist groups will not be allowed to decide Syria’s future,” he added.
Two rounds of international talks on the conflict in Syria were held in Vienna on October 30 and November 14.
President Assad said in an interview with the Spanish EFE news agency published on Friday that Damascus is in principle ready to engage in talks with the opponents, but such talks should involve “the real, patriotic, national opposition that has grassroots in Syria,” and not those related to any other state or regime in the world.