Iran, French officials discuss Syrian conflict
Iran’s deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs has met with France’s special envoy for Syria, discussing the conflict in the Arab country.
Hossein Jaberi Ansari met with Franck Gellet in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Tuesday, discussing the roots of the crisis in Syria and possible ways to defuse it.
Jaberi Ansari said Iran’s policy concerning regional crises was based on three principles, namely fighting terrorism and extremism, preventing the weakening of central governments, and enabling political reformation on the basis of popular demands.
He expressed Iran’s readiness for cooperation within the framework of these principles toward the restoration of peace and security in Syria.
Gellet, for his part, stressed the French government’s determination to help bring about a political resolution of the Syrian conflict.
He hoped that Paris and Tehran would, in cooperation with each other, be able to use their respective influence to encourage intra-Syrian negotiation and help the resolution of the situation.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. Damascus says Western powers and their regional allies support militants fighting the government.
Iran has been lending military advisory support to the Syrian government and has been mediating talks between the Syrian government and opposition, alongside Russia — a Damascus ally — and Turkey, which sides with the militants.
Since early this year, the talks, held in the Kazakh capital of Astana, have resulted in the designation of four de-escalation zones across the Arab country, which have resulted in reduced fighting.
Jaberi Ansari is Iran’s lead negotiator in the Astana talks.