Iran’s Vice President Holds Talks with Syrian PM
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri officially welcomed Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi in Sa'dabad Palace, where they discussed the deadly crisis in Syria and other issues of mutual concern.
In a visit between the two high-ranking officials on Saturday morning, they discussed expansion of ties alogside with the latest developments in Middle East and the world.
Halqi is scheduled to meet Iranian top officials to to exchange views with the Iranian officials on the lingering crisis that has gripped his country since March 2011.
Other topics of discussion during the Syrian delegation’s three-day stay in Tehran will reportedly include the political development across the region, as well as economic cooperation between the two countries.
The Syrian team will hold talks with Iranian officials on a strategy outlined by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on finding a way out of the crisis in the Arab country.
The UN says more than 100,000 people have been killed since the unrest began in 2011. More than 2.2 million Syrians have fled to neighboring countries while an estimated 4.25 million have been displaced internally.
Over half of 2.2 million Syrian refugees are children, the UN says, with many facing grave dangers even outside the war zone.
After months of delay, a much anticipated Geneva II conference which is hoped can help find a settlement to the Syrian civil war has been scheduled to begin on January 22 in Geneva.
"At long last and for the first time, the Syrian government and opposition will meet at the negotiation table rather than the battlefield," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday.
He added that the goal of the conference includes "the establishment, based on mutual consent, of a transitional governing body with full executive powers, including over military and security entities."
The conference had been delayed partly because many branches of the Syrian opposition said they would not attend, or had preconditions for attending.
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 in Syria since March 2011.
Iran has been one of the main supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has called on warring sides in the Syrian fray to sit together to find a settlement for the crisis that has shown no sign of abating, saying that the future of the country should be decided through diplomacy and ballot boxes not through the barrels of the guns.
Also, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani in a telephone conversation with Bashar Assad on Wednesday once again stressed Tehran’s support for the Syrian nation and peaceful solution to the crisis in the Arab country.
President Rouhani condemned the terrorist activities in Syria and also voiced Tehran's opposition to military intervention in the crisis-hit country.
The terrorist activities carried out by foreign-sponsored militants and Takfiri extremists in Syria are threats not only for the Syrian nation, but also for the whole region and the international peace and stability, Rouhani underlined.
“There is no military solution to the crisis in Syria, and restoration of stability and peace in the friend country of Syria is one of the objectives pursued by the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Rouhani said.