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Iranian Speaker: West Prolonging Syrian Crisis to Weaken Both Warring Sides

TEHRAN, March 12, 2014, (FNA)- Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said the US-led West is prolonging the crisis in Syria in a bid to weaken both President Bashar al-Assad government and the opposition, stressing that if the western states really intended to resolve the problem they would do their best to help Syrians hold elections.

"If they are able to settle the Syrian issue, then why have they pushed the Geneva (II) conference into failure," Larijani said, addressing the ‘Friends of Syria Conference which started work in Tehran on Wednesday with the presence of the chairmen of the foreign policy committees of the Iranian, Algerian, Iraqi, Syrian, Lebanese and Russian parliaments to review ways to cease bloodshed and violation of human rights in Syria.

"This shows that they just want this (crisis) to continue in order to weaken both sides," Larijani added. He underlined the necessity for cooperation among the regional countries to find a common solution to the Syrian crisis, and said, "In my view, elections is the most important issue that should receive attention in Syria." Larijani then asked "if the western states claim that Bashar Assad has no popularity in the Syrian society, then why do they disagree with his nomination in the next presidential election".

He said if the western states are honest in their claims about human rights and support for the Syrian people, then "they should comply with results peoples voting in Syria". Larijani referred to the rule of dictators in different countries of the region, and said tyrants in North Africa and the Middle-East region all rely on the West and the US, "and this shows that the western states alleged concern for establishment of democracy is all fake".

Syria has been the scene of deadly violence since March 2011. Over 130,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the crisis. According to reports, the western powers and their regional allies - specially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey - are supporting the militants operating inside Syria. Iranian officials have repeatedly underlined that Tehran is in favor of negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition groups to create stability in the Middle Eastern country.

In November 2012, Iran hosted a meeting between the representatives of the Syrian government and opposition to encourage them to start talks to find a political solution to their problems. The National Dialogue Conference kicked off work in Tehran mid November with the motto of No to Violence, Yes to Democracy". The meeting brought together almost 200 representatives of various Syrian ethnicities, political groups, minorities, the opposition, and state officials. On Saturday, Former Secretary-General of the Arab League Amr Moussa underlined that the only way out of the Syrian crisis is inviting Iran to take part in peace negotiations which have not been successful during the last two meetings in Geneva.

Speaking in an interview with the As-Safir of Lebanon, the veteran Egyptian diplomat said the three countries of Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia should be part of any political solution to the ongoing crisis in Syria. Noting that big powers acted incorrectly at the beginning of the Syrian crisis, Moussa said bullying powers led by a number of western countries are usually well in triggering and fueling conflicts but fail to resolve tensions. He said during the past two Geneva conferences, the world has witnessed the inefficiency of big powers in finding a solution to the situation in Syria.

The Veteran Egyptian diplomat noted that the Syrian crisis had many negative impacts on the entire region, its neighboring countries in particular, including the spread of terrorism and destruction as well as insecurity, unrest and chaos.


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