Foreign Ministers and Representatives from 28 Asian, African and Latin American countries took part Thursday in a consultative meeting in Tehran on Syria themed “Denouncing violence and upholding national dialogue.”
Present in the meeting were the Foreign Ministers of Iran, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Iraq as well as the Iraqi Minister of National Security along with representatives from other countries.
Deputy Foreign Ministers of 7 countries, Foreign Ministry Directors General from 2 countries and Ambassadors of 15 countries along with representative of UN office in Tehran have taken part in the meeting.
Representatives from Belorussia, Mauritania, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Benin, Sri Lanka, Ecuador, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Algeria, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Oman, Venezuela, Tajikistan, India, Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Nicaragua, Cuba, Sudan, Tunisia and Palestine have participated in the event.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran firmly believes that the Syrian crisis can only be resolved through serious and inclusive talks between the government and opposition groups that enjoy popular support in Syria,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said at the start of the conference which was broadcast on Iranian state television.
Salehi said that Iran “rejects any foreign and military intervention in Syria and backs and supports U.N. efforts to resolve the crisis.”
Also present at the Tehran meeting was the United Nations resident coordinator to Tehran, Consuelo Vidal-Bruce, who read out a statement from U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
“Both the government and the opposition continued to rely on weapons,” the translated statement read, and such actions would have “tragic consequences for the Syrian people”.
All parties had a common responsibility to “end the violence and the killing of civilians,” the Iranian student news agency reported.
In an opinion piece published by the Washington Post on Wednesday, Salehi warned there would be catastrophic consequences if Assad fell from power.
“Syrian society is a beautiful mosaic of ethnicities, faiths and cultures, and it will be smashed to pieces should President Bashar al-Assad abruptly fall,” it read.
Source: IRNA; Reuters