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Iran Views Considered in Vienna Joint Statement

Pointing to the final joint statement of the Vienna talks on Syria, Iran's deputy FM said Iran tried to express views on all the provisions of the final statement.

The international conference on Syria, attended by the foreign ministers of 16 countries and Chinese deputy foreign minister as well as representatives of the European Union and the United Nations, wrapped up at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna on Friday.

Addressing the reporters after the Vienna-II conference, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the major problem at the meeting was the wide gap between the participants' viewpoints.

He pointed that some had attended the meeting to issue a statement on President Bashar Assad's stepping down; some other participants were seeking to take advantage of the meeting to advance their political views on various regional issues, especially the issue of Syria, he asserted.

It was important for the Islamic Republic of Iran to advance its strategy in a meeting with conflicting views.

Amir-Abdollahian further noted, the US raised a plan on Thursday night while Russia, in turn, offered a written plan for overcoming the political crisis in Syria.

Foreign Minister Zarif had a very tough task during the meeting because the prevailing atmosphere at the meeting was opposed to the policies of Iran, Russia and some other countries, said the official.

Amir-Abdollahian said challenges and differences of views led to a prolonged session; at the end of the meeting, the participants agreed on a scheduled framework as the 9-clause statement of the Vienna talks on Syria and Iran discussed its views on all the provisions of the statement; however, some countries did not possess constructive views on the issue.

Mr. Zarif tried to include Islamic Republic of Iran's policies in the final statement which has emphasized important issues like sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria as well as protection of the rights of all Syrians, regardless of ethnicity or religious denomination, he noted.

Deputy foreign minister said the second point was President Bashar al-Assad's stepping down which was a part of the US timetable for the transition of power in Syria; with the efforts of FM Zarif, it was not included in the final statement and it was decided that the political process will be Syrian-led and Syrian-owned, and the Syrian people will decide the future of Syria, he asserted.

Amir-Abdollahian added fighting terrorism and pursuing the political solution were taken into account at the gathering.

The issue of fighting terrorists was not challenging at the meeting but the main issue was on defining the active terrorist groups in Syria, said the official.

We attach a great importance to the role of the UN in any political process in Syria but the issue was not considered seriously by all the parties at the meeting, he added.

It was also agreed that the participants together with the United Nations will explore modalities for, and implementation of, a nationwide ceasefire to be initiated on a certain date and in parallel with this renewed political process, said deputy FM, adding, the participants will spend the coming days working to narrow remaining areas of disagreement, and build on areas of agreement.

Ministers will reconvene within two weeks to continue these discussions.

The next meeting will be held in Vienna but the details of the session are not known yet, concluded Amir-Abdollahian.

Source: Al Alam

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