IRNA – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif urged all governments to respect territorial integrity of Syria and called the international community to impel the Zionist regime to stop all-out aggression on Syria.
“Israel’s aggressions on Syria are further complicating the situation,” Zarif said in a statement addressing the EU High-Level Meeting on the Syrian Crisis .
“The international community must compel Israel to stop all of its aggressions and violations. Syria should not be forced to exercise its inherent right to individual or collective self-defense,” he added.
The full text of Zarif’s statement is as follows:
I will briefly comment on four issues.
First, the political solution:
We have always stressed that the Syrian crisis can be resolved only through a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, UN-facilitated political process. The recent Summit of the Astana Format again underlined this approach.
The Summit also welcomed the successful completion of the work on the Constitutional Committee’s composition and supported the relevant efforts of SRSG Pedersen. We expressed readiness to facilitate the launching of the Committee as well.
The agreement of the Syrian Government and opposition on the formation the Constitutional Committee once again proved the effectiveness of the Astana Format.
The right to determine the future of Syria belongs exclusively to Syrians. Therefore, we should facilitate their negotiations to agree on a political solution without any external pressure or artificial deadlines.
Second, Syria’s territorial integrity:
The sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria must be respected by all.
The recent Astana Format Summit rejected any and all attempts to create new realities on the ground under the pretext of combating terrorism, including illegitimate self-rule initiatives. We also expressed our determination to stand against separatist agendas.
All foreign forces whose presence is not permitted by the Syrian Government should leave the country.
Israel’s aggressions against Syria are further complicating the situation. The international community must compel Israel to stop all of its aggressions and violations. Syria should not be forced to exercise its inherent right to individual or collective self-defense.
Let me also stress that the recognition by the US of the annexation of the Syrian Occupied Golan to Israel is illegal, null and void. The Golan is and will remain part and parcel of the Syrian territory.
Third, the return of refugees:
The speedy, safe and voluntary return of all refugees and IDPs must be facilitated. This is their right and our responsibility. No refugee or IDP should be forced either to return or to stay. Politicization or impeding the return of refugees and IDPs is unacceptable.
The international community should contribute to this process. To that end, the recent Astana Format Summit agreed to coordinate the holding of international conferences on the humanitarian assistance to Syria and the return of Syrian refugees.
Supporting the reconstruction of this country is essential. This should neither be politicized nor linked to any other issue.
Finally, through hosting the next summit of the Astana Format, Iran will make further contributions to bringing peace and stability to Syria.