Tehran Offers New Syria Initiative

Tehran Offers New Syria Initiative

Tehran plans to submit a new proposal to resolve the Syria crisis to the United Nations, Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on Wednesday.

The senior diplomat made the announcement in an interview with the Lebanon-based Al Mayadeen news channel, Fars News Agency reported.

"The plan will be officially announced after consultations between Tehran and Damascus, and will then be presented to the UN Secretary-General (Ban Ki-moon)," he said.

Some media have reported that the initiative calls for an immediate ceasefire, formation of a national unity government, constitutional amendments and an election under the supervision of international bodies.

The news came as Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem met Iranian officials, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani, in Tehran on Wednesday to discuss the latest developments in the war-wracked Arab country.
Speaking about Muallem's visit, Amir Abdollahian had previously suggested the chances of a diplomatic resolution of the Syria conflict were growing.   

"Fortunately we see a change in the strategy of regional players in the Syrian crisis. If four years ago they believed war is the only solution, now they prefer to focus on diplomacy."

US Secretary of State John Kerry, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, meeting in Qatar on Monday, "acknowledged the need for a political solution to the conflict and the important role to be played by opposition groups in reaching that solution," an unnamed US State Department official said, Reuters reported.

In his meeting with Muallem, Shamkhani opposed foreign military action in Syria, stressing, "Any military intervention by foreign countries in the Syria crisis is unacceptable and only undermines legitimate state bodies… It helps spread the crisis, terrorism and insecurity."     


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