Tasnim – A senior Iranian diplomat said the ongoing peace talks in Kazakhstan must bring about an “irreversible cessation of hostilities” and ultimately put an end to the crisis in Syria, adding that the Syrian nation should enjoy the “right of self-determination” like all other nations.
“The utmost goal of our joint efforts to end the Syrian conflict must be an irreversible cessation of hostilities that enables the people of Syria to get back to the normal life they deserve, like any other nation. Syrians shall enjoy a sovereign state in an integrated territory within safe borders,” Hossein Jaberi Ansari, who heads the Iranian delegation in the negotiations, said on Monday while addressing the talks in the Kazak capital, Astana.
“All nations shall enjoy the inherent right of self-determination and no external powers should or can interfere with the right of people. Syrian nation is no exception and shall exercise this right of theirs, free from any external pressure. Those who seek the prolongation of the Syrian crisis for their own interests hinder the fulfillment of people’s right,” he added.
Following is the full text of his speech at the event:
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful
Your Excellency, Kairat Abdrakhmanov, the honorable Foreign Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Distinguished heads and members of participating delegations
Ladies and Gentlemen
At the outset, I would like to express my gratitude to the great nation and state of Kazakhstan, and to appreciate their warm hospitality towards the participating delegations.
Once in Kazakhstan, the homeland of Farabi, we feel at home and we regard the decision of Kazakh brotherly government and nation to host this conference in line with Islamic teachings to help our brothers.
As we are sitting here in comfort; men, women and children in Syria are struggling with difficulties, agony and ravages of war, terrorism and displacement within or out of their homeland. In some parts, including Damascus, they are even deprived of drinking water.
As an Iranian, I can feel their misery. It was not long ago when Iran fell victim of an imposed war that left hundreds of thousands of martyrs, wounded and displaced people and led to destruction of vast areas of the country.
Everybody in my accompanying delegation have lived those days.
In the human world, the divergence of beliefs and interests are natural, but war is the ugliest manifestation of such disagreement. The utmost goal of our joint efforts to end the Syrian conflict must be an irreversible cessation of hostilities that enables the people of Syria to get back to the normal life they deserve, like any other nation. Syrians shall enjoy a sovereign state in an integrated territory within safe borders.
All nations shall enjoy the inherent right of self-determination and no external powers should or can interfere with the right of people. Syrian nation is no exception and shall exercise this right of theirs, free from any external pressure. Those who seek the prolongation of the Syrian crisis for their own interests hinder the fulfillment of people’s right.
Today, we have assembled in Astana to re-orient our endeavor towards peace and to remedy the shortcomings of past processes, in order to help a dialogue between the Syrian government and the Syrian armed opposition groups who have joined the process of current talks, in framework of tripartite initiative consisting of Russia, Turkey and Iran, to win an agreement on the eventual political solution.
To this end, we need to have a clear road map. Specifically, all participating parties to these talks need to denounce acts of violence and respect not only the ceasefire, but cessation of all kind of hostilities.
We shall welcome the adherence of non-participating groups to this process, once they abide by principle of non-violence.
The international community should join efforts to curb the illegal transfer of arms, financial aids and fighters into Syria that enables the terrorist groups to continue suppressing the local population and commencing chains of armed confrontations anywhere in the country. An effective mechanism of ceasefire should be in place, ensured by the Astana tripartite initiative to guarantee the irreversibility of ceasefire and cessation of hostilities.
Meanwhile, a joined effort to confront Daesh/ISIS, Al-Nusrah and their associated terrorist groups should be on the agenda.
The Syrian government and the Syrian opposition, helped by the tripartite initiative, can start a dialogue to reach a political solution that ends in free, inclusive and transparent elections based on national unity and territorial integrity. Upon successful completion of this process, we hope to see the end of Syrian crisis.
At the same time, all friends of Syria should join hands to remove sanctions and blockage, to help the reconstruction, to facilitate the free return of the displaced population in urgent response to the dire human situation in Syria.
Changes begin in people’s minds. The vicious cycle of violence and terrorism can be stopped only if extremist ideologies that justify barbarism, more than often in the false name of religion, are denounced and renounced. This may begin with introducing the true merciful and blessing face of divine religions and an intercultural dialogue among regional neighbors and in the world at large.
Time is short and as the history shows, next coming generations will hold us responsible for our deeds. Let us opt for peace and construction.
“Cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And keep your duty to Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in punishment.”
(Quoted from the Holy Quran)