Tuesday Jan 28, 201402:53 PM GMT
Rouhani urges unity to end war, slaughter in Syria

Iran President Hassan Rouhani has called for a united front to put an end to the ongoing war and slaughter in Syria, urging an end to the provision of arms to terrorists in the Arab state.

In a Tuesday meeting with Kofi Annan, former UN secretary-general and head of a group of ex-global leaders known as the Elders, in Tehran, Rouhani noted that certain countries in the region must stop supporting terrorist groups in Syria and dispatching weapons to them.

“Regional crises are rooted in cultural impoverishment, economic poverty, injustice, lack of democracy, and the presence and interference of foreign powers,” Rouhani stated.

He added that violence, extremism and terrorism in the Middle East as well as injustice, lack of democracy, discrimination and foreign intervention have all raised concerns in the international community.

The Iranian president called for more attention to the root causes of violence, extremism and terrorism.

Annan, for his part, said Iran plays a decisive role in regional developments and security.

The world must find a political solution to the Syria crisis and put an end to the massacre of the Syrian people, Annan stated.

He added that the UN Security Council, Syria’s neighboring countries and Iran should play a part in resolving the crisis in Syria.

Annan arrived in Tehran early on Sunday along with Martti Ahtisaari, a former president of Finland, South Africa's Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu and Mexican ex-president, Ernesto Zedillo, who were also present in the meeting with Rouhani.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. Reports indicate that the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside the country.

SF/HMV/SS

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