Baku, Azerbaijan, March 11
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran will host a parliamentary meeting of the "friends of Syria" countries on March 12, head of National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the parliament, Alaeddin Boroujerdi said, Mehr news agency reported on March 11.
Parliamentary delegations from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Russia, Algeria, Cuba and Venezuela have been invited to attend the meeting, Boroujerdi added.
The term "friends of Syria" has been abused by some countries, he said, adding that however, the countries which will participate in tomorrow's meeting are Syria's "true" friends.
The Group of Friends of Syria is an international diplomatic collective of countries including Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE, UK and the U.S. and bodies such as the African Union, Arab League, European Union, Gulf Cooperation Council, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the UN, convene periodically on the topic of Syria outside the U.N. Security Council. The collective was created in response to a Russian and Chinese veto on a Security Council resolution condemning Syria.
Boroujerdi went on to say that the in upcoming meeting the countries will exchange views on the latest developments in Syria. He further expressed hope that some agreements will be achieved in the meeting.
"The meeting will support a peaceful solution for the Syrian crisis," he added.
Iran is a close ally of the Syrian government and has always shown its support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.
The Syrian opposition claim that Iranian military forces are fighting against them, while Iran dismisses the claims, saying that the country only has advisors in Syria to transfer its military experience to the Syrian army.
On Feb. 12, Iranian MP Seyyed Mahmoud Nabavian said that Iran has trained some 150,000 Syrian citizens in Iran, and another 150 000 in Syria itself.
During the conflict in Syria which began in March 2011, more than 115,000 people were killed in the country and over 4.2 million became refugees in Syrian territory and two million fled to neighboring countries. The main burden of receiving refugees fell on Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. The total population of Syria before the conflict amounted to 20 million.