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Zarif: Details of Syrian ceasefire still undecided

24 February 2016 7:22



Iran’s Javad Zarif has told a joint press conference Islamic Republic will support any effort to stop bloodshed in Syria.

Mr. Mohammad Javad Zarif and Mr. Igor Crnadak, his Bosnian counterpart attended a joint press conference on Monday after an official meeting. Zarif reiterated Iran’s position of support for political efforts to bring stability to Syria; “we believe Syrian crisis has a political solution and a dialogue where all Syrian sides would sit in a negotiation to bring an end to bloodshed and chaos in the country; other countries should contribute positively to this general framework and avoid setting preconditions to peace,” Zarif emphasized.

“In all Iran’s plans, ceasefire has been the first step toward solution. In Vienna as well, Iran emphasized upon an immediate cessation of hostilities by all sides involved and sending humanitarian aid; the cessation of hostilities however should have specific and clear limits and scope, which are yet to be addressed in detail,” Zarif told the press conference.

Zarif then turned to Iran-Bosnia relations in his meeting with the country’s foreign minister which discussed improvements to be brought about in the economic ties with former Yugoslavian Republic.

On a question pertaining to JCNP (second JCPOA; famously introduced by President Rouhani in national level following the JCPOA signed with the west), Zarif said that the JCNP meant to bring together all forces under an umbrella which would seek all-out development for the country and which would unite effective forces of the nation for common good; “on regional scale, we have demanded since long that the paradigm dominant in the region should see a U-turn to a common understanding and far from a game with zero-sum quality; this is a paradigm the Islamic Republic of Iran advocated even during 1980s in the height of the Imposed War as its major line of foreign policy,” he detailed.

Zarif then touched upon a regional rival, Saudi Arabia, recommending the Kingdom’s belligerent officials to take a wise decision to avoid fueling the tensions which had damaged themselves more than others in the region; “lowering oil prices unilaterally and supporting extremist factions in the region out of a intransigence in foreign policy and rivalling prudent policies of Tehran have severely damaged Riyadh itself; they should come to understand the situation where tinges of flexibility and change will bring huge positive outcomes to the region,” he proposed.

Zarif also welcomed a Bosnian delegation to Iran after relatively long time; “we are now much pleased to see that after years of sectarian and ethnic violence, people of all ethnic origins live in symbiosis in Bosnia; we will be happier to see that Islamic Republic of Iran has close political, cultural and economic ties with Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he added.

“With Mr. Crnadak, we discussed and came to understanding of a series of political and regional issues, and agreed to promote the level of negotiations to different ranks in the foreign ministries. We also discussed visa issuance facilitation and cooperation on banking and fighting terrorism; Iran and Bosnia have enjoyed a long history of relations in cultural issues which constitutes a major field of working,” Zarrif told the press conference.

Epilogue to Zarif’s speech touched the extremism and violence which plagued the Balkan region and the Middle East; “we discussed, among other things, the migrant crisis in Eastern Europe and Bosnian membership in the EU,” he concluded.

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