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Tehran hosts conference on Syria


Report by Tehran Times; photos by Marzieh Mousavi, Islamic Republic News Agency

Iran believes that proposed U.S.-Russia led peace talks on Syria would be a step forward toward resolving the crisis that has gripped the Arab country for over two years, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in Tehran on Wednesday.


The Iranian foreign minister made the remarks in a speech during a one-day conference on the Syrian crisis, which was attended by officials and representatives from about 40 countries, including Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Tanzanian Minister for Defense and National Service Shamsi Vuai Nahodha, former Lebanese president Emile Lahoud, and deputy foreign ministers of Oman, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Indonesia.

Salehi said, "The Islamic Republic of Iran has always supported all regional and international measures with an emphasis on a political solution, and... in line with this, Tehran, as part of a solution to the Syrian crisis, welcomes Moscow's efforts to hold an international conference with the participation of all sides and regards it as an important step toward the peaceful resolution of the Syrian crisis."

He also called for an end to the conflict and the holding of national dialogue in Syria, adding that Syria's national sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected.

Salehi also reiterated Iran's opposition to foreign interference in the internal affairs of the Arab country.

The messages of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-Arab League joint special envoy on Syria, and Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu were read out during the conference.

They all said that the conflicting parties in Syria must end the violence and seek a political solution, expressing hope that the Tehran conference would help improve the situation.

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