Iran hopes Geneva II meeting help settle Syrian issue

TEHRAN, May 25 (Xinhua) — The Iranian foreign minister expressed hope that the forthcoming Geneva II meeting will help resolve the 26-month-old Syrian crisis, official IRNA news agency reported Saturday.

Ali-Akbar Salehi made the remarks during a meeting with visiting Turkish Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock Mehdi Eker here on Saturday.

The Iranian minister urged the regional countries, including Turkey, to help resolve the Syrian issue and prevent the crisis from getting further complicated, according to the report.

For his part, Eker said that the Syrian problem would not be settled without the engagement of Tehran and Ankara.

Major regional and international countries as well as parties involved in the Syrian conflict are expected to attend an international conference in Geneva in June, which is initiated by Russia and the United States.

As a main regional ally of the Syrian government in its battle against the opposition, the Islamic republic has also announced that it will hold another conference on the Syria crisis at the end of this month.

Abbas Araqchi, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, said the slogan of the upcoming meeting on Syria in Iran’s capital of Tehran on May 29 is “Political Solution-Reginal Stability.”

On Saturday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that Iran has invited Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, China, Russia and other regional and international players to the conference, according to semi-official Fars news agency.

The previous meeting on Syria concluded in Tehran last November with the participants calling for a ceasefire and an end to the armed conflicts in the crisis-ridden country.

In the meantime, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi denied on Saturday that Iran has military forces in Syria, according to Fars.

“The Islamic republic of Iran has not sent and will not dispatch military forces to Syria,” Vahidi said, adding that Tehran only supports consolidation of peace and tranquillity in Syria and in the region.

The Iranian minister said that those countries accusing others of meddling in Syria have turned the region into a battlefield by committing “outrageous war crimes” in Iraq and Afghanistan and supporting Israel’s atrocities in Palestine and Lebanon, according to Press TV’s report on Saturday.

“The West, in particular the United States, seeks to wage wars and intensify regional conflicts to boost their arms sales in order to save their crisis-hit economies,” he was quoted as saying.

The West wants to repeat the Iraq and Afghanistan scenario in Syria and to destroy the country’s economic and industrial infrastructure in a bid to make the Arab country dependent, Vahidi added.

By Xinhua


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