Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has given visiting UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi a proposal aimed at ending the 19-month-long conflict in Syria.
Salehi said that Tehran has “handed its unofficial detailed proposal in writing aimed at solving the Syrian crisis” to Brahimi as well as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, in comments broadcast on Arabic-language Al-Alam television on Sunday.
He did not go into details about the proposals, only adding that Iran, the main backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, would support efforts by the international envoy.
Brahimi, who arrived in Tehran from Turkey after meeting with Turkish officials, welcomed the Iranian initiative.
“I thank you for the proposals and as I told you, there are some ideas in your proposals which can help by adding to that forwarded by other nations who are also important with regards to the Syrian situation,” Brahimi said in a joint press briefing.
“We hope all these ideas gather into a project to put an end to the Syrian people’s nightmare.
“I am repeating the call by the United Nations secretary general (Ban Ki-moon) for the initiation of a ceasefire by the Syrian government and asking the opposition to reciprocate once the government commenced,” he added.
Talks with Ahmadinejad
Brahimi later on Sunday met with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in talks during which the Iranian leader repeated his government’s offer of help in solving the Syrian crisis.
Iran “is ready to co-operate and help in order for the Syrian people to live in calmness and security,” the presidency website reported.
“Fighting in Syria means the spread of insecurity in the whole region and efforts exerted to break up Syria will lead to decades of insecurity in the region due to the country’s ethnic structure,” Ahmadinejad told the veteran Algerian diplomat.
“The solution to improve the Syrian situation is for all parties to reach this conclusion that with calmness and security, the Syrian issue can be solved,” the Iranian president said.
“No one should seek to impose his opinion on others and the Syrian people in completely free elections should say their views and everyone should respect the Syrian people’s choice,” he added.
Brahimi was quoted by the website as saying that he sought Iran’s “help and co-operation in bringing about stability and security in Syria”.
The international envoy is due to meet Saeed Jalili, the top Iranian security official, on Monday before leaving for Baghdad, Iraq’s capital, later that day, the state television’s website said.