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Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:42PM
Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

Iran has confirmed its absence from tomorrow's Syria conference to be held in Geneva, reiterating that the Islamic Republic is opposed to any military intervention in the country. The key to a breakthrough in any conference aimed at resolving the issues in Syria is the presence and an active participation of the Syrian government and all involved parties, Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Friday. The official called for a realistic approach to the 15-month unrest in the Arab nation, expressing Iran's readiness to help any effort to restore calm in Syria. “The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes cooperation and participation in any meeting or conference that guarantees and is aimed at constructive results to resolve the issue of Syria,” he said. Amir-Abdollahian further voiced Iran's full support for any effort aimed at assisting the Syrian people within the framework of the peace plan proposed by the UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan. The deputy minister ruled out making of decisions for Syrian people from outside the country and rejected a military action against the government of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “Some measures and preliminary talks in the Geneva conference indicate certain plots [are in the offing] aimed at ensuring the failure of the Annan plan,” he warned. “We have informed the organizers of the conference of our clear stance in support of the Syrian people, Mr. Assad’s reforms [plan], Mr. Kofi Annan’s political efforts, and the need for a halt in providing arms to and support for terrorist activities in Syria,” he added. Syria has been experiencing a deadly unrest since mid-March 2011. While the West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of killing protesters, Damascus blames the violence on ''outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups'' funded and instructed from abroad. Despite insistence on the part of Annan, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and the permanent Security Council member, Russia, to engage Iran, the US and its Western allies objected to inviting the Islamic Republic to the Syria Contact Group meeting scheduled for June 30 in Geneva. MRS/HGH/SS
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