Fresh Call for Political Approach to Syria Crisis

Fresh Call for Political Approach to Syria CrisisFresh Call for Political Approach to Syria Crisis

Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian held consultations on Monday in Moscow with Russian President's Special Representative for the Middle East and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, in which they called for a practical political approach to defuse the ongoing crisis in Syria, which has displaced over 7.2 million people according to the United Nations.

Briefing the Russian official on Iran's recent negotiations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Amir Abdollahian described Assad's "constructive" views on the Syrian conflict as praiseworthy, Fars News Agency reported. Stressing the futility of military intervention, the two sides emphasized the need for political solutions revolving around the shared role of the people and government.

Senior Russian and Iranian officials and strategists have held a string of high-level talks in Moscow in recent months to discuss Assad's approach to the crisis and Russia's presence in Syria.

Tehran's initiative, endorsed by Russia, was submitted to the Syrian president by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during a visit to Damascus on August 12.

Iran's plan is in line with the UN Security Council's measure adopted last month to establish peace in Syria. Tehran hopes regular consultations with Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the United Nations, and his special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura could pave the way for implementing the plan through political means.

Over the past three months, Moscow has appeared to be preparing to bolster Syria's defenses, according to analysts and Arab officials.

The US and other western governments are closely watching what actions Russia, Iran and the Syrian government take now.

The United States says Russia has covertly deployed troops, artillery units and tanks to Syria, NBC news reported.

Moscow says it is sending arms to Syria under existing contracts but denies bolstering its forces in the country.

US Foreign Secretary John Kerry said on Saturday Russia and Iran could help persuade Assad to negotiate an end to the conflict.

"Assad has to go," Kerry said, but the "modality" and "timing" of his departure were a matter for discussion.

"We need to get to the negotiation. That is what we're looking for and we hope Russia and Iran, and any other countries with influence, will help to bring about that, because that's what is preventing this crisis from ending," he said.

  Regional Conflicts

Bogdanov and Amir Abdollahian also held talks on other regional issues, including the crises in Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq, the campaign against terrorism and extremism and the recent Israeli raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque and their actions against the Palestinians in al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Calling for the lifting of the blockade by the Saudi-led coalition on Yemen, Tehran and Moscow reiterated that the United Nations should play a more active role in addressing the human tragedy in war-torn Yemen.

The two sides believe that resorting to violence and military action will not only complicate the situation further but help spread extremism throughout the world.