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Assad's initiative deserves regional, international support, FM official

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Jan 7, IRNA -- Foreign Ministry Deputy for Arab and Africa Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian stressed the need to support the Syrian president's initiative, stressing the plan put forward by President Bashar al-Assad deserves regional and international support.

Commenting on the importance of the plan, he reiterated that it was utterly Syrian-tailored though prior to disclosing it, the Syrian officials exchanged views on it with Russia, China and Iran.

He believed the proposed plan which seems to be an all-inclusive one will help stop violence in Syria and could serve as the pivotal point among the involved parties.

The Iranian diplomat further noted that the plan could aid the Syrian nation to attain its objectives in a democratic manner.

He referred to formation of a new government in Syria based on the content of the new constitution which will be put to the public vote as one of basic features of President al-Assad's plan.

He said halt in terrorist operations against the Syrian nation and controlling borderlines will help implement the plan, adding that the real opponents of the Syrian government who have supporters among the nation believe in only political solutions and vehemently reject massacre of people and destructive manners.

The other group of armed opponents, he noted, are mainly the terrorist bands who have either arrived in the country from abroad or are supported and armed by certain countries.

The Syrian president is not after remaining in the post for his life time but is the legal head of the country until 2014 according to people's votes, he said, adding that after the end of his term, if the new constitution allows him, Mr al-Assad could seek another term of presidency.

However, he stressed, Iran will always respect the opinion of the Syrian nation formed through a democratic process whether it includes Bashar al-Assad as the president or anybody else as his successor.

On difference of views of Iranian and Turkish officials on Syrian issue, he said Iran conducts a steady exchange of views with Turkey on the ongoing crises in Syria.

Amir Abdollahian explained that Iran and Turkey share common views over 70 per cent of the content of the plan which was proposed for Syria by Ankara; Iran believes that the destiny of Syria should be determined at the end of a political process by the votes of people while Turkey says that President al-Assad should leave power at the beginning of the political process even before violence halts in the country.

Saying that the notion has been backed by Turkey and Qatar since the very beginning of clashes in Syria, he said the idea is rooted from the fact that these two countries are well aware that President al-Assad will remain in his post if he decides to run in the elections.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 1044419

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