Iran stands by ceasefire in Syria
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 16
By Farhad Daneshvar - Trend:
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has announced Iran's readiness to stand by ceasefire in Syria.
"I called for a ceasefire in Syria three months ago and we are ready to stand by a ceasefire in Syria today," Zarif said, speaking at a Joint press conference with Elmar Brok, Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, in Brussels.
Zarif denied that Iran has boots on the ground in Syria saying there is a legitimate government in Syria recognized by the United Nations and those who are operating in Syria without the authority of the sovereign government of Syria are violating the international law.
"We have military advisors in Syria as we have them in many other places on the invitation of the local government," the foreign minister said.
"We will move advisors when local governments deem it necessary for us to remove them. I hope others would do the same," he added.
Speaking about the necessity of a ceasefire in Syria, Zarif called for a political dialogue instead of "monologue" between Syrian groups.
He urged the parties involved in Syrian crisis to stop dictating the terms for a political dialogue adding that only Syrians should be allowed to decide their fate.
"It is a Syrian process; the Syrians should make the decision. People from outside cannot say what should be the outcome of the negotiation," Zarif said.
The Iranian minister further criticized Saudi Arabia over crisis in Syria and Yemen urging for a political solution to Syrian crisis.
"The outcome of the negotiation will be determined by the Syrians inside the negotiation room, not in the capitals of the region particularly in Riyadh. They will not make the decision for the people of Syria; they cannot make the decision for the people of Syria."
"If you are talking about the military forces we have to stop the bombardment of Yemen. They are just taking action on the daily basis against innocent civilians killing a lot of people. There are no military targets to hit any more in Yemen. Civilians are being killed. We need to end that and we need to end that now," the minister said.
Zarif arrived in Brussels Feb. 15 at a two-day official visit to discuss key regional issues with European Union officials.