Europe Can Help Resolve Regional Conflicts

Europe Can Help Resolve Regional ConflictsEurope Can Help Resolve Regional Conflicts

A senior Iranian official said European states can play an "independent, more positive" role in resolving West Asian conflicts, which have the potential to threaten world peace.

Ali Akbar Velayati, the head of the Center for Strategic Research of Iran's Expediency Council, made the statement in a meeting with former Swedish premier, Carl Bildt, in Tehran on Wednesday, IRNA reported.

Referring to the Syrian crisis, Velayati said the presence of citizens of over 80 countries in the ongoing clashes in the Arab country shows that it can have long-term negative effects on world peace.

"Protecting territorial integrity of Syria is of special importance. Absolutely, no military solution can be imagined for it and [all] should work to restore lasting peace there," said Velayati, who is also a senior foreign policy advisor to the Leader of Islamic Revolution.

"The Syrian nation should be allowed to decide its own future, without foreign interference and terrorists who commit every possible crime," he said.

Syria has been gripped by chaos since 2011, with a standoff between the Syrian Army and foreign-backed militants battling to bring down the government.

Bildt, who had paid an official visit to Tehran as Swedish foreign minister in 2012, said the Syria crisis has caused serious concerns for people across the world.

"Protecting territorial integrity of Syria is important for us too," he said, adding that Iran has a big role in resolving regional problems, particularly that in Syria.

Bildt, who arrived in Iran on Monday at the head of a delegation from the European Council on Foreign Relations think tank, said his discussions with Iranian officials have been constructive. He also met Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday.


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