A senior Iranian official says a timetable for the settlement of the conflict in Syria must be based upon a ceasefire agreement.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, a member of the Iranian delegation to the latest round of international talks on Syria in the Austrian capital of Vienna, said on Saturday that the most important goal of such negotiations should be to set up a roadmap for a ceasefire.
The Iranian official made the remarks in response to a question about an 18-month timeframe proposed by Germany, during which time elections could be held in Syria.
Amir-Abdollahian, who serves as Iran’s deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs, reiterated Iran’s position with regards to the political fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying the issue should solely be decided by the Syrian people.
In an interview with Press TV before the talks began, Amir-Abdollahian emphasized that no party to the Vienna talks can have a say on the fate of Syria.
“We see Mr. Assad as the legal president of Syria and we believe that in the Vienna talks … a mechanism should be agreed in the political process so that the Syrian people can determine their own fate,” he said.
The Saturday talks in Vienna was a continuation of October 30 negotiations in the Austrian capital, attended by representatives of 17 countries, including Iran, as well as envoys from the United Nations and the European Union.