BEIRUT: The Syrian, Russian, Chinese and Iranian ambassadors to Lebanon said after a meeting Friday that a political solution is the only way to end the 21-month unrest in Syria and called for an immediate end to the violence. “The ongoing fighting in Syria, which targets the regime and is supported by some states, has so far only resulted in further death and destruction, and should stop immediately,” the envoys said, according to a statement from the Iranian Embassy in Beirut.
The statement said that Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel-Karim Ali, Iranian Ambassador Ghadanfar Rukn Abadi, Russian Ambassador Alexander Zasypkin and Chinese Ambassador Wu Zexian met at Abadi’s residence.
The meeting came one day after Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, said that Syrian rebels might defeat the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, statements that were denied Friday by Russia’s Foreign Ministry.
The attendees highlighted the “necessity of reaching a political solution in Syria, which is the only option for emerging from the crisis in this country,” and “stressed the need to stop sending funds and weapons to armed groups.”
The diplomats called for dialogue between the Syrian people and for free and transparent parliamentary elections, followed by presidential elections on schedule.
The ambassadors pointed to the failure of the “armed terrorist groups” in achieving their goals over the past two years, praising Syria’s army, government and people for confronting terrorist acts committed by these groups, the bulk of whom they said come from outside the country.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on December 15, 2012, on page 2.