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Iranian top diplomat: Riyadh should stop dictating terms of political dialogue in Syria

February 16, 2016, 15:46 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

The outcome of the negotiations on Syrian settlement will be determined by the Syrians inside the negotiating room, not in the capitals of the region, like Riyadh, Iranian Foreign Minister says

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Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif


BRUSSELS, February 16. /TASS/. Riyadh and other capitals in the region should stop dictating the terms of political dialogue on settlement in Syria, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Tuesday.

"What is necessary in Syria is to allow for a ceasefire, to allow for a political dialogue to take place between the people of Syria, to stop dictating the terms of the political dialogue. It’s a Syrian process. The Syrians should make the decision. People from outside cannot say what should be the outcome of the negotiations. The outcome of the negotiations will be determined by the Syrians inside the negotiating room, not in the capitals of the region, particularly in Riyadh," Zarif told a press conference in the European Parliament.

The foreign minister noted that "there is a legitimate government in Syria recognized by the United Nations." "Those who are operating in Syria without the authority of the government — of the sovereign government in Syria — are violating international law," he added.

Zarif is on his two-day official visit in Brussels. He held talks with EU leaders, in particular with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. The sides discussed cooperation between Tehran and Brussels after the agreement on Iran’s nuclear program is fully implemented.

On 18 December 2015 the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2254 in support of the Vienna agreements on the peaceful settlement of the conflict in Syria envisages participation of the Syrian opposition and representatives of government in the talks that are due to start in January 2016. The final goals of negotiations are defined as establishing the transitional government, adopting a constitution and holding election in the next 18 months.

The document does not mention Syrian President Bashar Assad whose future remains the main stumbling block. The resolution states that the Syrian people should decide the future of the country.

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