UN official stresses Iran’s role in Syria peace process
A senior UN official has emphasized Iran’s role in efforts to resolve the deadly crisis in Syria, saying Tehran’s initiatives could facilitate the peace process.
Ramzi Ezzedine Ramzi, deputy to UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura, made the remarks in a Wednesday meeting with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran.
He further said Syria was at a critical juncture, stressing that Iran could play a significant role in speeding up diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict.
The Islamic Republic can help find a way out of the crisis in Syria, added the UN official.
Amir-Abdollahian, for his part, said a political solution to Syria’s crisis requires a serious anti-terror fight, adding that terrorism should not be used as a tool to pursue “one-sided goals” in the Arab country.
He lashed out at certain parties for violating the ceasefire agreement in parts of Syria in support of the terrorist groups, which, he said, are used as a bargaining chip in the peace negotiations.
The Iranian official further reaffirmed Tehran’s readiness to help settle the Syrian crisis, dismissing any military solution to the five-year-old conflict.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. Damascus says Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar are the main supporters of the militants fighting the government forces.
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.
Over the past months, several rounds of peace negotiations have been held on the Syria crisis, but the discussions have so far failed to produce any tangible results.
The latest round of intra-Syrian talks took place in Geneva, Switzerland on April 13-27. The Saudi-backed opposition, known as High Negotiations Committee (HNC), walked out of the talks on April 19 to protest at what they called escalating violence and restrictions on humanitarian access in Syria.
A ceasefire, brokered by Russia and the US, went into effect on February 27 across Syria. Fighting, however, picked up and left the truce in tatters.
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council has agreed on a six-month deadline for drafting a new constitution for the Arab country in line with the proposal of the International Syria Support Group.
De Mistura, the US special envoy, estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the Syrian crisis.