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Iran FM: No agreement yet on details of ceasefire in Syria

23 February 2016 7:31



Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif said on Monday that no agreement has yet been reached on details of a ceasefire that is due to be observed in Syria.

 Addressing a joint press conference with his Bosnian counterpart Igor Crnadak on Monday, Zarif said the Islamic Republic of Iran supports any move which would result in cessation of bloodshed and guarantee lives of the Syrian people.
He said the Islamic Republic of Iran has always believed that Syrian crisis has no military solution and the only solution is dialogue among various Syrian parties and entrusting the task of finding solution to the Syrian people.
He noted that other countries have the duty to facilitate dialogue and not to condition it on something else, while attempting to draw up the framework for the dialogue.
The top Iranian diplomat said the choice of ceasefire has been on top of the list of political solutions, that the Islamic Republic of Iran has forwarded over the past two and half years, as it has emphasized immediate ceasefire and shipment of humanitarian assistance to all parts of Syria in the meeting of the International Syria Support Group in Vienna on November 14. ‘Iran still holds the same stance.’
The Iranian minister said ceasefire does not mean letting Daesh, al-Nusra Front and other al-Qaeda related groups that are recognized by the international community as terrorist groups like Ahrar al-Sham and similar groups continue their terrorist activities.
‘So, ceasefire needs to have definite and clear-cut framework. To this end, first of all, attempts should be made to remove any ground that leads to shipment of aid to the terrorist and other armed groups during the ceasefire era, while preventing dispatch of fresh forces and recruitment of new forces by Daesh and al-Nusra Front; this necessitates full supervision over the borders. Furthermore, among other requirements of the ceasefire in Syria is rejecting any condition that would let Daesh and al-Nusra Front hide themselves among armed groups.’
The Iranian minister said no agreement has, however, been reached on details of mechanisms of implementing the ceasefire. However, the International Syria Support Group reached agreement – the so-called ‘cessation of hostilities — on the ceasefire in principle in its Munich session and the details are yet to be discussed.
He added, ‘On part of the Islamic Republic of Iran , we support any move which will lead to cessation of bloodshed and guarantee lives of Syrian people, hoping that other regional players and international community will take serious and sincere policies to stop hostilities.’
To a question on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) II, Zarif said, ‘What President (Hassan Rouhani) said in connection with the JCPOA II, is internal solidarity for development and progress of the country; as for the region, we have always said that the paradigm dominant on the region should change into the paradigm of common understanding from the paradigm which resulted in nuclear confrontation. The paradigm that the Islamic Republic of Iran, raised in the 80s and in climax of the imposed war and has always emphasized the policy, is our serious and strategic policy.’
The Iranian minister hoped that regional states, especially Saudi regime, which have pursued war mongering policies in the region, would stop such actions before harming themselves as Saudi Arabia has suffered most as a result of oil price decline.
‘Saudis are today sustaining hefty damage for strengthening the extremist groups. They should soon come to the conclusion that the region will be safer if they change their stance.’
Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif expressed pleasure with presence of Bosnian Foreign Minister and his accompanying delegation in Iran after a long period of time and said, ‘We are very happy that after a long time we are today witnessing peaceful co-existence of different ethnic groups in Bosnia; We are also happy that the Islamic Republic of Iran has close links with the Bosnian government and people in different political, economic an cultural domains.’ Elaborating on his talks with the Bosnian counterpart, Zarif said, ‘Today, we reached agreement to have diplomatic and regional consultations and the two sides are to have regular consultations at various levels.’
He noted that he and his Bosnian counterpart also agreed on more extensive cooperation in various economic fields, including facilitation of visa issuance, easing banking cooperation and countering terrorism.
Zarif said the Balkans and the Middle East regions suffer from extremism and violence. ‘Today, there were also discussions on refugees problem in Europe and the process of Bosnia’s bid for membership in the European Union.’
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