Meeting on Syria concludes in Tehran, urges end of violence
The two-day meeting on Syria with the slogan of "Violence No, Democracy Yes" concluded in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Monday with the participants calling for a ceasefire and an end to the armed conflicts in the crisis- ridden country, Xinhua reported.
The meeting also opposed any foreign interference in Syria's political affairs, semi-official Mehr news agency reported.
The National Syrian Dialogue Meeting started here Sunday, with the participation of some 200 political representatives from Syrian ethnic groups, the opposition as well as the Syrian government and parliament.
On Monday, the participants agreed to form a 16-member committee to follow up the agreements reached in the gathering, Mehr reported, adding that the committee was also tasked with communicating with other Syrian groups to pave the way for the nation-wide dialogue, national reconciliation and political reforms.
According to another report by Mehr on Monday, there were " serious" differences in the viewpoints of the participants as some of them urged the formation of a transitional government in Syria.
By holding the Tehran meeting, Iran, Syria's major regional ally in the region, sought to push for its own agenda which aimed at preventing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government from being toppled.
The plan for the meeting came as the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces was formed earlier this month in Doha, Qatar, which is composed mainly of opposition groups outside Syria, but will also include activists inside the country and some rebel commanders.
According to an agreement reached by the exiled opposition parties in Doha, once the new coalition wins international recognition, it will form an interim government in exile and call for a national conference if the Syrian current administration is ousted.
On Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi outlined main points of the agreements which were said had been reached at the end of the first day of the gathering in Tehran.
Salehi said all the participants in the meeting unanimously emphasized peaceful solution to the Syrian conflicts and opposed foreign interference.
The Iranian minister told reporters that the gathering stressed respect for the national unity and sovereignty of Syria, its territorial integrity and the acknowledgement of legitimate demands of the Syrian people.
The meeting expressed its opposition to violence of any kind as a means to impose the demands on people, he said, adding that in line with this, the participants condemned resorting to arms which spreads violence to an uncontrollable dimension.
Therefore, controlling the borders of Syria was one of the mechanisms to prevent arms smuggling into the country, which the participants agreed on, said Salehi.
It was also suggested that the dislocated Syrians, both inside and outside the country, be supported by the whole Syrian community, he added.
Salehi said solidarity against Israel was the point on which the Syrian participants in the meeting also agreed. They believed Syria suffered the current crisis due to the fact that it was the major resisting front against Israel, he pointed out.
The Iranian foreign minister stated that his country believed there should be no prescription by the foreigners to the Syrian people about their own internal affairs, saying that the Islamic republic's role in assisting the Syrians was to facilitate bringing the opposition and the Syrian government to a negotiation table.
Iran had reiterated that it sought a peaceful resolution to the Syrian crisis and by no means intended to interfere with Syria's internal affairs, Salehi said, emphasizing that the Syrians themselves could recognize their interests better than the strangers might do.