Syrian crisis resolvable, people’s participation key: Iranian Foreign Minister

New Delhi, Dec 3 (IANS) The participation of the Syrian people themselves is important to solve the Syrian problem, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday.

“I believe time is long gone for any power to resolve Syrian question. It requires everybody to chip in. It requires participation from all, and most importantly by the people of Syria,” he said in a special address on ‘Fighting against terrorism and extremism as a global menace’ organised by Observer Research Foundation.

Suggesting a possible solution for Syria, Zarif said: “Can there be a power-sharing system in Syria through constitutional methodology, through other methods that will make everybody part of the future of Syria?”

“United States and Russia, without a feasible scenario out of this stalemate, will not be able to produce miracles.”

“So, I believe Syria is resolvable,” said Zarif is India to attend the Heart of Asia conference being held at Amritsar.

Pakistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates are part of the Heart of Asia initiative launched in 2011 for encouraging economic and security cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbours for dealing with the common problems of terrorism, extremism and poverty.

Speaking on how to resolve the problems in Afghanistan and highlighting the constructive role played by Indian and Iran, Zarif said: “Iran and India are working together in order to address the fundamental challenge in Afghanistan and that is the fact that Afghanistan has failed to turn its economy from an informal economy based on drugs, corruption and trafficking and warlordism into a formal economy.”

“Port of Chabahar provides an outlet to Afghanistan and other countries of the region to export their minerals to the international market. I think that is capable of changing the root cause of the terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking in Afghanistan.”

Afghanistan is a landlocked country and it needs port in neighbourhood to export its good into the global market. India is developing the port and associated road infrastructure to connect Afghanistan to rest of the world via Iran.

On the the nuclear agreement signed between the US, other powers and Iran which ended the international sanctions against his country, Zarif said that the agreement came “because the sanctions didn’t work”. “Sanctions did a lot of harm to Iran,” he said explaining why US decided to come to the talking table on nuclear issue.

Taking a shot on US policy of sanctions on Iran, he said: “They gained a net total of 19,800 centrifuges. Because when they imposed sanctions on Iran, we had only 200 hundred. They were hoping to bring that to zero. When we started the negotiation with Americans we had 20,000 centrifuges.”

“The era of hegemony is over..I do not believe that the nuclear agreement is in jeopardy. Of course in Iran, we have options for every alternative,” he added.

–IANS

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