Political Process Led, Owned by Syrians Key to Settling Crisis

Political Process Led, Owned by Syrians Key to Settling Crisis
Political Process Led, Owned by Syrians Key to Settling Crisis

Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations stressed on Monday that a truly Syrian-led, Syrian-owned and UN-facilitated political process is critical to addressing the prolonged crisis in the Arab country. 
Addressing the United Nations Security Council, Majid Takht-Ravanchi highlighted the sufferings of the Syrian people over the past years arising from the conflict that has also had adverse consequences on the peace, security and stability of the entire region, saying the situation “cannot and must not continue indefinitely”. 
“At the 10th anniversary of the start of the Syrian conflict, all efforts must be made to end the fighting,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA.  
The envoy then mentioned a number of key principles of paramount importance in this context that must be observed “fully, effectively and in good faith” by all. 
Takht-Ravanchi emphasized that this crisis has no military solution and must, therefore, be settled “peacefully and in full conformity with international law”, particularly the principles enshrined in the UN Charter.
Also, the conflict cannot and will not end without ensuring the full sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic, he said, adding that “this can, in no way, be compromised”.
“Neither the Syrian people will accept the continued occupation of their territory or violation of their sovereignty, nor must the international community accept this, as it runs counter to the cardinal principles of international law,” the Iranian envoy said.
He said Iran once again calls for the immediate withdrawal of all foreign forces present in Syria without the permission of its government, particularly US forces that continue to occupy parts of the Syrian territory.
“In this context, we condemn the unlawful military strike on the Syrian-Iraqi border on 25 February 2021. Such unlawful acts escalate the already tense situation in the region, and hence must stop,” he said. 
The United States launched an airstrike against militia locations near Syria’s border with Iraq, accusing the group of an attack against its bases, which killed a contractor. 
Equally, Iran condemns the continued Israeli military attacks in Syria and considers then “unlawful, provocative and destabilizing”, according to Takht-Ravanchi. 
“That regime must be compelled to put an end to such military adventurism,” he said. 



Unabated Counterterrorism 

The Iranian envoy also underlined that restoring Syria’s territorial integrity requires continued fighting with all terrorist groups, as any pause in such operations will allow them to consolidate their presence and resume their atrocious activities in Syria, prolong the conflict, and delay a political solution.
He reminded, however, that protection of civilians must at all times be the guiding principle in combating terrorists.
Takht-Ravanchi also expressed Iran’s strong objection to the abuse of counterterrorism efforts to support any separatist tendencies or illegitimate self-rule initiatives or violation of Syrian sovereignty.

Along with the Astana guarantors (Russia and Turkey), Iran supports the work of the Constitutional Committee, according to him, and stresses that its work should continue without foreign interference and externally imposed timelines.
“Likewise, while the committee’s work must be governed by a sense of compromise and constructive engagement, reconstruction of the country and the return of refugees and displaced persons must go hand in hand with the political process,” he said, describing them as interlinked, mutually inclusive and mutually reinforcing.
The UN representative also voiced opposition to mounting political and economic pressures against the Syrian government and people, or multiple preconditions set for the peaceful settlement of the crisis, saying it has proven to be counterproductive.
“Measures such as politicizing humanitarian aid, return of refugees and displaced persons, and in particular, imposing unilateral sanctions, only prolong both the crisis and sufferings of the Syrian people, who are already suffering seriously from other hardships, particularly the Covid-19 pandemic,” he warned. 
He called the sanctions unlawful and inhumane, and in violation of the basic human rights of the Syrian people by any measure, calling for their immediate removal. 
“Iran is committed to the political resolution of this crisis and will continue supporting the people and government of Syria to restore the unity and territorial integrity of their country,” he concluded. 

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