Sunday Jan 06, 201305:02 AM GMT
Only Syrians must determine nation’s destiny: Salehi
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has said the Syrian people are the only ones who should be allowed to determine the country’s destiny and Iran is strongly opposed to foreign military intervention in Syria.


During a meeting with Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad in Tehran on Saturday, Salehi placed emphasis on Iran's firm and principled stance in support of the Syrian government and nation during the current crisis.

He noted that the Islamic Republic of Iran is vehemently opposed to any foreign interference in the domestic affairs of all independent countries, including Syria.

Salehi said the Syrian government is open to any initiative for talks to end the bloodshed in the country and stated that the factions that are opposed to dialogue are responsible for the deterioration of the security situation.

The Iranian foreign minister also expressed hope that influential Middle Eastern countries would begin cooperation and constructive interaction to help restore peace in Syria.

Miqdad praised the six-point plan presented by Iran, calling it a very appropriate solution to the crisis in Syria and a sincere attempt to help establish peace and stability in the region.

On December 16, Iran unveiled the details of the six-point plan.

Following is a brief outline of the points of the plan:
(1) All acts of violence and the armed conflict in Syria should be halted under the supervision of the United Nations.

(2) After the violence is halted, humanitarian assistance should be sent to the Syrian people in the areas affected by the violence, and this necessitates lifting economic sanctions imposed on the country and making preparations for the return of displaced people to their homes.

(3) National dialogue should be held with the participation of representatives of the various parties of Syria so that a national reconciliation committee can be established. The talks should pave the way for the establishment of a transitional government all sides agree on. The transitional government will be tasked with holding free parliamentary elections, establishing a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution, and holding a presidential election.

(4) All those who have been arrested for peaceful political activities, regardless of which group or denomination they are affiliated with, should be released immediately, and those who have committed crimes should be tried fairly.

(5) The process of disseminating inaccurate reports from Syria should be halted as soon as possible, and all media outlets should be given the opportunity to report the realities on the ground.

(6) A committee should be established to assess the damage to the country’s infrastructure. The committee would be tasked with developing appropriate mechanisms in order to attract and channel foreign assistance and determining priorities in regard to the reconstruction of Syria and participation of relevant organizations and friendly countries in the reconstruction process.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of security forces, have been killed in the violence.

The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.

MP/HGL
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