Iran: Russia's Initiative on Syria to Avert New War in Region

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in a meeting with his Russian counterpart, praised Moscow for its efforts to settle the prolonged crisis in Syria, and said the recent initiative proposed by Russia has raised hopes to avert a new war in the region.

Iran: Russia's Initiative on Syria to Avert New War in Region

“Moscow’s initiative to resolve the Syrian crisis, as well as the steps that have been taken by the Russian administration in this regard, brought about a hope to prevent a new war,” Rouhani said during a meeting with Vladimir Putin in Kyrgyz capital city of Bishkek on Friday.

The meeting came at the end of the 13th annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Kyrgyzstan.

President Rouhani also emphasized the need for further negotiations to address the contemporary challenges, and said, “The more consultations and exchange of views, the more it will help resolve the problems and crises of the Middle East region.”

He further expressed satisfaction with the great opportunity to hold a meeting with Russian officials to discuss the bilateral issues, as well as the sensitive regional and international developments, and added, “Such exchange of view will be definitely effectual in resolution of problems.”

Vladimir Putin, for his part, described Iran as a “very good and important” neighbor for Russia, and stressed that Tehran and Moscow can enhance mutual activities within the framework of regional, bilateral and international cooperation, which he said can also materialize through the SCO.

The US has been pressing for military action on Syria since a suspected chemical weapons attack in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21, which it blamed on the forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The government of Syria has denied involvement and said the rebels were responsible.

Russia, which has blocked US and British efforts to get a United Nations resolution to take action against Syria, appeared to open a path toward a solution Monday when it suggested a plan for Damascus to hand over its chemical weapons.

In a statement late on Thursday, the United Nations confirmed that President Bashar al-Assad signed a decree stating that Syria will accede to international law on the prohibition of chemical weapons.

The spokesman for the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that "The secretary-general has today received a letter from the government of Syria, informing him that President Assad has signed the legislative decree providing for the accession of Syria to the Convention ... on chemical weapons of 1992."

And Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his most recent reaction, said Russia welcomes Syria's decision to join the Chemical Weapons Convention, which is aimed at prohibiting chemical weapons use.

“I think we should welcome this decision of the Syrian leadership and I would like to hope that this will be an important step in dealing with the crisis," Putin said.

“This confirms the serious intentions of the Syrian partners,” Putin stated.

“We consider intolerable any foreign military intervention into this country without the UN Security Council sanctions.”

“The efforts that have been recently made have permitted to decrease the direct threat of a military operation," he also stressed.



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