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Diplomacy, logic to settle regional issues: Rouhani

28 January 2016 18:46


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the issues in the region can be solved through a diplomatic and logical approach.  

In a Thursday presser with his French counterpart Francois Hollande in Paris, Rouhani said the diplomatic process that culminated in last July’s deal on the Iranian nuclear issue should serve as a model in efforts to address other issues of international significance such as the crisis in Syria.

The Iranian president further said it is up to Syrians to decide their political future, calling on other players to avoid interference in the country’s affairs and merely assist the Arab nation to resolve the crisis on its own.

“The main problem in Syria is not such and such person, the main issue is terrorism and Daesh,” said the Iranian president, criticizing the foreign parties that fuel the crisis in Syria by arming the terror groups and being involved in illegal oil trade with them.

French President Francois Hollande (R) shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani upon his arrival on January 28, 2016 at the Élysée Palace in Paris. ©AFP

Hollande, in turn, said Iran and France have agreed to make efforts to protect the cultural heritage of war-torn Iraq and Syria from destruction.

The French head of state further highlighted the role of Iran in the political process aimed at resolving regional crises.

Echoing Rouhani’s call for joint fight on terrorism, Hollande said Muslims in the Middle East are falling prey to Daesh terrorist acts.

He noted that Iran and France “share responsibility” for fighting terrorism which he said is threatening “regional countries, including Iran.”

“Terrorism is our sole enemy,” he said, adding that terrorism threatens human beings of every religious belief.

Referring to ongoing crisis in Syria, Hollande said it was “urgent to implement humanitarian measures and to negotiate political transition.”

“It’s possible,” said the French president.

Earlier in the day, Rouhani sat down for talks with Hollande after his meeting with the country’s senior executives and businessmen.

Rouhani was officially welcomed by the French leader at the Élysée Palace in Paris.

Also on Thursday, Rouhani and Hollande oversaw the signing of several memoranda of understanding between Iran and France in various sectors, including telecommunications, environment, tourism, agriculture, higher education and transportation.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif was also on Thursday welcomed by his French counterpart Laurent Fabius at the French Foreign Ministry, where the two signed a set of cooperative agreements.

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