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Sleiman: political solution only option for Syria

President Michel Sleiman (L) during a meeting with Saeed Jalili, the head of Iran's supreme national defence council, at the presidential palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, on August 6, 2012. (AFP PHOTO/HO/DALATI AND NOHRA)

BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman said Friday that a political solution to the Syrian crisis was the only option to help the country through its now 17-month-old uprising.

Sleiman also said that such a political solution should start through an immediate cease-fire and not through foreign military intervention.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran, Sleiman said he hoped the talks in Iran would contribute to a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis.

“There is no solution other than a political solution to this crisis, this is what everyone agreed to contribute toward,” he told reporters, according to his press office in Baabda.

Sleiman arrived in Tehran Thursday to participate in the two-day-long NAM conference.

Sleiman also said he had a “very positive meeting” with Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and agreed with him on several key issues surrounding peace in the Middle East.

Asked whether Lebanon would accept military or economic aid from Iran, Sleiman said that he would welcome any assistance in line with U.N. resolutions.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on September 01, 2012, on page 3.

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