Divide between Iran, Turkey Narrowing over Syria Crisis

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian foreign minister once again rejected the idea of any military solution to the lingering crisis in Syria, adding that Tehran and Ankara have developed some common views on the Syrian issue.

Divide between Iran, Turkey Narrowing over Syria Crisis

“Iran and Turkey agree with each other on some issues: We concur that the Syrian crisis has no military solution; all viable parties should join hands to promote a political solution for Syria; and the Islamic Republic and Turkey intend to spare no effort in this regard,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart in Tehran on Wednesday.

“We definitely pursue the Syrian conditions with serious concern,” Zarif added.

He also emphasized the necessity to end the ongoing clashes in Syria immediately, saying the efforts should be focused on bringing about a ceasefire in the Arab country even before the Geneva II Conference.

Earlier on Tuesday, Zarif had announced that Iran is ready to attend the Geneva II Conference on Syria and to contribute to the resolution of the raging conflict in the Arab country.

“If invited, Iran will attend the meeting with the aim achieving results and with no preconditions,” said Zarif, adding that political talks were the only possible way to bring the deadly crisis in Syria to an end.

Iran is definitely among the participants in the forthcoming International Geneva II Peace Conference on Syria, UN-Arab League Joint Special Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi was quoted as saying by a high-ranking official at the United Nations on Monday.

The UN Secretary General announced on Monday morning that the much delayed Geneva II Conference on Syria will be held on January 22, 2014.

The conference would bring representatives from Syria's government and elements of the opposition to negotiate an end to the fighting that has raged on since March 2011. Yet the opposition is hardly a single group; it consists of numerous factions that often oppose each other.

Geneva II is the second sequel of Geneva I conference held in June 2012 in which international parties laid out a peace plan for Syria that calls for a transitional governing body. It left open the question of whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must leave power.

Iran says it is the Syrian people who must decide who should rule them in a free and fair election -- and not the world powers -- and that the regional countries and world powers should facilitate a condition for warring sides in Syria to come to the negotiating table and talk their way out of the deadly crisis that has claimed more than 100,000 lives.

Iran has already hosted three meetings on the crisis in the Arab country.

The Islamic Republic has repeatedly expressed its opposition to any foreign intervention in Syria's internal affairs and has warned some Syrian neighbors and regional countries which support rebels, saying the voiolence engendered by their meddling cannot be contained withing the Syrian borders for long.

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