Asian Political Parties Convene in Tehran to Promote Dialogue

Asian Political Parties Convene in Tehran to Promote DialogueAsian Political Parties Convene in Tehran to Promote Dialogue

The 29th International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) started in Tehran on Friday.

The two-day event is being attended by some 100 leaders, secretary generals and senior officials of 40 parties and political organizations from 25 Asian countries, as well as officials from some regional and international organizations. This is the first time that Iran is hosting the ICAPP, ISNA reported.

Speaking at the ICAPP opening ceremony, Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi said the forum can be a launching pad for enhancing cooperation among Asian nations and removing "the traditional paradigm focusing on [military] power and destructive coalitions."

  Zero-Sum Game

"This traditional paradigm is a zero-sum game that regards [other countries in a region] as enemies and tries to do away with them," he said, adding that in many cases dialogue between nations can avoid unnecessary confrontations. He mentioned the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement as an example of a decade-long issue that was resolved through successful diplomacy and dialogue.

Pointing to the mobilizing power of parties as a key to change the status quo in the region, he called on political parties to take more confidence-building measures as the first step to come up with a new "win-win paradigm".

"The Islamic Republic believes in a strong region where supremacy and eliminating other players are replaced with a win-win rule which would meet the interests of all regional countries," the top diplomat said.

Araqchi also urged Asian political parties to put combating with terrorism and extremism high on their agenda, adding that "although terrorist groups like Daesh [the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group] have been defeated, their extremist ideology lives on in many Asian nations."

The role of public-based institutions, such as political parties, is of key significance, Araqchi said.

"Extremists are trying to exploit people's religious beliefs to carry out their murderous agenda. Parties must not allow this to happen," he urged.

Iran, unlike many western-backed monarchy states in the region, enjoys a dynamic political landscape—split mainly between the two main camps of reformists and principlists or conservatives. ICAPP is a forum of political parties of Asia-Oceanian countries, which was launched in Manila, the Philippines, in September 2000. The objectives of the conference are to promote exchanges and cooperation between political parties from different countries in the area and with various ideologies and to enhance mutual understanding and trust among Asian countries.


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