Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has reiterated Tehran’s readiness to host talks between the Syrian government and opposition parties in a bid to end the 16-month violence in the Arab nation.
“The Syrian conflict must be solved through negotiations. Moreover, sabotage and terror as well as slaughter of people must be brought to an end,” Salehi said in an exclusive interview with Arabic-language al-Alam television network on Tuesday.
“We call on those Syrian opposition groups that are opposed to terrorist attacks and bloodshed to travel to Tehran and engage in negotiations with Syrian authorities,” he said.
The Iranian foreign minister noted that numerous efforts are underway by certain Western states to further complicate the situation in Syria.
On July 16, Salehi first voiced Iran’s preparedness to facilitate dialogue between the Syrian government and opposition groups.
“We have been in contact with a large portion of the Syrian opposition and have had the mutual negotiations. We are now ready to facilitate talks between the opposition and the government of the Republic of Syria,” he said.
The Iranian foreign minister stressed that the regional countries should cooperate with one another to resolve the Syrian crisis so that the final result would be to the benefit of Syria, the region and the international community.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011.
While the West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of the killings, Damascus blames ''outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups'' for the unrest, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.