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Iran ready for cooperation with EU on Syria: Larijani

TEHRAN, March, 9, 2014, (Press TV)Irans Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has expressed the countrys readiness to boost cooperation with the European Union to resolve the crisis in Syria.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has made great efforts to establish stability and peace in the region including in Afghanistan and Iraq and it is currently ready to continue good cooperation with the European Union to settle the Syria crisis," Larijani said in a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in Tehran on Sunday.  "There is no need for options such as military [approaches] and arming...extremists and terrorist; and only the countrys people should be given the chance to consolidate democracy...in Syria through a gradual and peaceful process," he added.

The top Iranian parliamentarian emphasized that no difference should be made among countries when speaking about real democracy in the Middle East. More than 130,000 people are said to have been killed and millions displaced in Syria since the country plunged into rampant violence in March 2011. The Western powers and their regional allies namely Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey - have reportedly been supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

The EU foreign policy chief, for her part, said her visit to Iran is aimed at holding talks with the countrys top political officials to explore ways for improving Iran-EU ties on leading regional and international issues. Ashton added that Iran and the EU can hold consultations and make joint efforts on regional challenges including narcotics trafficking, terrorism, extremism and the Syria crisis. She stressed the importance of dispatching humanitarian aid to Syria and commended Irans role in this regard.

Heading a politico-economic delegation, Ashton arrived in Tehran on Saturday to hold talks with Iranian official on the Islamic Republics nuclear energy program and relations with the European Union. Ashtons trip comes upon a January invitation by Irans Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

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