Iran’s FM: Syrian Nation Entitled to Decide Own Fate

Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi

Fars NA -(Mar 8, 2013) Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi underlined that the Syrian people are the only ones who have the right to determine their own fate, and called on Syrian groups to stop blaming each other and find a realistic solution to the crisis in the country.

 ”We have to be realistic. If we want to resolve the Syrian crisis we have to follow real politics,” Salehi told press tv on Thursday.
The Iranian minister added that everybody should recognize the fact that the Syrian government is legal and no external power has the right to ask it to step down “because that would be a vivid indication of interference in the internal affairs of a country.”
Salehi also underlined the necessity of stopping the “blame game” in Syria in order to be able to settle the unrest in the Arab country.
In the relevant remarks, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad earlier today stressed that coercion and use of force cannot lead to the settlement of the crisis in Syria and it has become more evident now that this problem should be resolved through dialogue.
The time is ripe for all parties and groups to help solve the existing problems through negotiations and mutual understanding, Ahmadinejad said in a meeting with Palestinian Deputy Chairman of Hamas politburo Musa Abu Marzuq on Tuesday.
On Saturday and after a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mualem in Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told reporters that Damascus has expressed its readiness to sit to the negotiating table even with armed groups.
Speaking to reporters at a joint press conference with his visiting Syrian counterpart, Salehi said Iran is trying to prepare the ground for a meeting between the Syrian government and opposition.
“The Syrian government has voiced its preparedness (for talks) and there remains no excuse (for the opposition to avoid talks). Mualem has announced in Syria that his country’s leaders are prepared to even talk with the armed opposition,” Salehi added.
As regards Iran’s stance on the Syrian crisis, Salehi said Iran believes that “the Syrian crisis has no military solution”, and stressed that “cessation of hostilities in Syria is Iran’s first and foremost demand”.
The Iranian minister said that Iran is in contact with some opposition groups to convince them to participate in talks, and added, “If they insist on spreading bloodshed in the country they should know that they will be held accountable (for continued violence and killings in the country).”
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against the Syrian police, border guards, statesmen, army and the civilians being reported across the country.
Thousands of people have been killed since terrorist and armed groups turned protest rallies into armed clashes.
The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.

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