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Foreign support for militants must end: Iran to UK

16 December 2016 10:05

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After being summoned to the UK Foreign Office over the Syria crisis, Iran’s ambassador to London says the plight of Syrians would only end if all foreign parties channeling arms and money to militants ceased to do so.

Hamid Baeidinejad made the comments after a Thursday meeting with UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who also summoned Russian Ambassador Alexander Vladimirovich Yakovenko to relay “profound concern” over Aleppo.

Baeidinejad said he told the British side that the Syria crisis is nothing new and dates back to over years ago, when armed groups, using foreign support, began an illegal conflict against the Syrian people.

“Such irresponsible policies have resulted in the carnage and displacement of countless innocent Syrians,” said the envoy, calling for an immediate end to  foreign support for terrorist groups.

He told Johnson that Iran’s policy towards the situation in Syria has always been based on ensuring the safety of civilians and a halt to the flow of arms and money to foreign-sponsored militants.

Tehran has, over the past years, put forward important initiatives in cooperation with certain countries to help facilitate aid delivery to the Syrians, even at times when no one would pay any attention to the problems facing civilians in the Arab country, Baeidinejad said.

He expressed hope that the developments in Syria have proven that the crisis cannot be solved through military measures and that all should step in to help work out a political solution to the conflict.

The Iranian and Russian ambassadors were summoned hours after a UN-backed mission kicked off to take remaining militants and civilians out of Aleppo, which is now almost entirely cleansed of terrorist groups after some four years.


A man holds the Syrian flag bearing a portrait of the Syrian president as residents in a government-held area of Aleppo on December 15, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

 

On Thursday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hailed the liberation of Aleppo as “history in the making.”

Foreign regimes seeking Assad’s ouster have been channeling military equipment, as well as advisory, political, and financial support to the militants, who have been waging violence against the nation since 2011.

Since September 2015, Russia has been backing the Syrian army’s counterterrorism operations with an aerial campaign. Iran has also been providing military advisory support to Damascus.

On Thursday, the Russian embassy in the UK briefed media on the talks with Johnson on Aleppo.

“Thousands of militants with their families are being evacuated from the city with the help of the Russian military and officers of the International Committee of the Red Cross to the territory controlled by illegal armed groups,” it said.

“The evacuation we and the United Nations have long been insisting on is meant to avoid unnecessary bloodshed and, what is most important, to save the lives of people living in East Aleppo, to ensure humanitarian access to them,” the mission said.

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