Tehran to Host Meeting of Friends of Syria on May 29

n00131440-bRepresentatives of a number of foreign countries and international organizations will take part in the upcoming friends of Syria meeting in the Iranian capital on May 29.

Last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi announced that Iran “will host the Friend of Syria Meeting” later in this month and that the relevant invitations had been sent to many countries and international organizations to take part in the event.

He expressed the hope that many world leaders would give positive response to Iran’s invitation.

Salehi further mentioned that he had a meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr over Syria on the sidelines of a foreign ministerial meeting of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and discussed the proposal of the quadrilateral Contact Group on the settlement of the Syrian crisis.

“It seems that the crisis in Syria is progressing in a way that many regional counties as well as the international community member states are moving to resolve the issue (crisis in Syria),” Salehi underscored.

Iran has intensified diplomatic efforts to end the ongoing crisis in Syria.

Also, Salehi said earlier this month that his recent tour of the regional states, which took him to Jordan and Syria, was aimed at preventing the spread of the Syrian crisis into the region, and added that the regional countries share Tehran’s views on Syria.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is in constant contact with different regional states to prevent the harmful aftermaths of some regional developments from spreading to the entire region,” Salehi said on the sidelines of a conference dubbed as ‘Diplomacy and Soft Power in the Great Prophet’s (PBUH) Sirah (life and tradition)’ in Tehran.

Salehi also said that during his trip to Damascus he had a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to share the world and regional countries’ views on the Syrian crisis with Assad, and said “good decisions were made” at the meeting.

Iranian officials have repeatedly underlined that Tehran is in favor of negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition groups to create stability in the Middle Eastern country.

Last November, Iran hosted a meeting between the representatives of the Syrian government and opposition to encourage them to start talks to find a political solution to their problems. The National Dialogue Conference kicked off work in Tehran mid November with the motto of ‘No to Violence, Yes to Democracy”.

The meeting brought together almost 200 representatives of various Syrian ethnicities, political groups, minorities, the opposition, and state officials.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 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 2011, calm was almost restored in the Arab state after President Assad started a reform initiative in the country, but Israel, the US and its Arab allies sought hard to bring the country into chaos through any possible means. Tel Aviv, Washington and some Arab capitals have been staging various plots to topple President Bashar al-Assad, who is well known in the world for his anti-Israeli stances.

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