BEIRUT: Iran’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed Monday the need for good ties between Tehran and Riyadh for regional stability and expressed relief on the positive atmosphere surrounding the formation of a new Cabinet in Lebanon.
Zarif, who arrived in Beirut Sunday night, also laid a wreath on the tomb of Hezbollah’s slain commander Imad Mughniyih and visited the bombing site outside the Iranian Embassy.
On Nov. 19, two suicide bombers targeted Iran's embassy in Beirut, killing 30 people including an Iranian diplomat. The Abdallah Azzam Brigades, an Al-Qaeda offshoot, claimed responsibility for the attack.
During his meeting with President Michel Sleiman, Zarif stressed on the importance of good relations between Iran and Arab countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, for the sake of protecting and reinforcing stability in the region.
According to Sleiman’s office, Zarif also expressed relief on the positive developments at the local level, primarily surrounding the formation of a new government, praising Sleiman’s role in providing a positive atmosphere and strengthening unity and stability.
Zarif also spoke about the ongoing crisis in Syria and preparations for the upcoming Geneva 2 peace conference, saying it was important for the cycle of violence in Syria to end and for the peace talks to come up with peaceful solutions while leaving the Syrian people to decide their country's political fate.
He said regardless of whether or not Iran was invited to the conference his government would continue efforts to promote stability in the Middle East, which he said would in turn reflect positively on the situation in Lebanon
Scheduled for Jan. 22, the Geneva II conference, which Lebanon will to take part in, will revive a stalled framework for a peaceful settlement in Syria.
Zarif also thanked the president for Lebanon’s efforts in apprehending the perpetrators behind the Nov. 19 embassy attack in Beirut, relaying Iranian President Hasan Rouhani's greetings.
Last month, the Lebanese Army apprehended the head of the Abdallah Azzam Brigades, Majid al-Majid, who later died while at a military hospital in Beirut.
For his part, Sleiman commended Iran's role at the international and regional levels, stressing on the importance of dialogue between Iran and Arab countries and for good ties to preserve stability in the Middle East.
Sleiman also said it was important for the Geneva 2 peace conference to come up with a roadmap for a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria.
He also voiced relief on the preliminary agreements over Iran's nuclear activities.