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Syrian future should be defined by its people - Iranian president

January 23, 2014, 15:51 UTC+3 DAVOS
Peace in the Middle East is only possible through the strengthening of economic ties between regional countries - Rouhani
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Iran's President Hassan Rouhani at the World Economic Forum in Davos

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani at the World Economic Forum in Davos

© EPA/LAURENT GILLIERON

DAVOS, January 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Syria’s people should define the country’s future, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday at the World Economic Forum underway in Davos, Switzerland.

“We must support the choice of the Syrian people in determining its fate,” the head of state said. “First and foremost, it is necessary to stop hostilities between the parties, then deport all terrorists from Syrian territory and then give the country’s people the right to decide its destiny.”

Rouhani called for assistance to Syrian nationals, adding that Iran supplied food and medicines to the Middle Eastern country.

He said “peace in the Middle East is only possible through the strengthening of economic ties between regional countries.”

“We are ready to interact with neighboring states, all countries on the planet, in the sphere of international security, cooperation in the fight against terrorism and other spheres,” the Iranian president said.

Earlier on Thursday, the IRNA news agency quoted Rouhani as telling participants of the Geneva II international peace conference on Syria that they should “contribute to realizing the peace aspirations in Syria.”

“We have always said and say that the Syrian nation thirsts for peace. The Syrian problem cannot be solved by force. The fight against terrorism is the region’s common cause. The expansion of terrorists’ activity does not meet anyone’s interests,” he said.

Geneva II, organized by Russia and the United States, seeks to find ways out of the Syrian crisis, which, in line with UN statistics, has claimed more than 100,000 lives and displaced millions of people since its start in 2011.

The conference began in Montreux, Switzerland, on Wednesday. It is expected to be followed by direct talks between Syrian government and opposition delegations later.

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