Middle East

Iran presents detailed proposal for Syrian solution to Brahimi

Salehi, right, talks to Brahimi, during a press briefing, after their meeting in Tehran on Sunday. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

TEHRAN: Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi Sunday gave visiting U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi a proposal aimed at ending the conflict in key regional ally Syria.

Salehi said Tehran had “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.

He did not go into details about the proposals, only adding that Tehran would support efforts by the international envoy.

Brahimi, who arrived in Tehran from Turkey after meeting with Saudi 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 cease-fire by the Syrian government and asking the opposition to reciprocate once the government commenced,” he added.

Brahimi is due to meet top security official Saeed Jalili Monday before leaving for Baghdad later that day, the website of state television reported.

The veteran troubleshooter is currently on a regional tour aimed at finding a solution to the 19-month conflict in Syria after Damascus rejected a U.N. call to implement a unilateral cease-fire.

Iran, the main backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad, seeks a political solution to the conflict and supports the envoy’s mediation efforts.

Brahimi will next visit Baghdad Monday for talks with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, according to Maliki’s spokesman.

“Iraq has said many times that it supports the efforts of Lakhdar Brahimi to find a solution, and we will work to make this mission successful to end the human tragedy of the Syrian people,” Ali Mussawi said Saturday.

He said Brahimi would arrive in Baghdad Monday and would meet with Maliki, but said he had no further details on the veteran troubleshooter’s schedule while in Iraq.

The envoy first visited the Middle East in mid-September and traveled to Damascus, where he met Assad but earned no promise of concessions from the Syrian president.

In an interview with AFP Tuesday, Ban said Brahimi would soon return to the Syrian capital to try again to meet with Assad.

Ban suggested that Brahimi could go to Damascus this week if his meetings in the region this week were productive.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 15, 2012, on page 8.




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