Iran Urges Int’l Organizations to Help Syria with Holding Referendum

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian praised the Syrian government for planning a referendum on the country’s new constitution, and urged the international organizations to help Damascus in this regard.

Amir Abdollahian expressed hope Wednesday that the Arab League, Europe and the UN would support the Syrian government’s bid, seen as a major change in the process of reform in the Arab country.

He also expressed the hope that the international organizations would contribute to the restoration of stability and peace in Syria by paving the way for the referendum to be held.

The senior diplomat also called on the Arab League to fulfill its duty to prevent any foreign interference in Syria, given the situation in the country.

The Syrian government has declared February 26 as the date for a referendum on the country’s new draft constitution that would lay the ground for a multi-party political system.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made the decision after he received the draft from a committee set up in October to draw up the new constitution.

In January, Assad said that the new constitution will replace the current one which endorses his Baath party’s dominant role.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country.

Hundreds of people, including members of the security forces, have been killed, when some protest rallies turned into armed clashes.

The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.

In October, calm was eventually restored in the Arab state after President Bashar al-Assad started a reform initiative in the country, but the US and Israeli plots could spark some new unrests in certain parts of the country.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast had also earlier deplored any foreign meddling in Syria, and praised the reforms President Assad has pledged to undertake as “problem-solving”.

“We are fundamentally against interfering in the affairs of other countries. We think it does not solve the problems but will only make them more complicated,” Mehman-Parast said in January.

“The good reforms which have been announced by the Syrian officials are pushing the ambience towards dialogue and solving the problems, though some countries do not like this,” he said.

Assad has announced the end to the state of emergency, granted citizenship to many Syrian Kurds and promised parliamentary elections later this year. In January, he issued the latest of thousands of amnesties for those detained since the uprising began.

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