Rouhani urges Syria peace talks facilitation

Rouhani urges Syria peace talks facilitation
Fri Sep 20, 2013 18:22:02

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has offered to broker peaceful negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition forces after more than two years of war.

“We must join hands to constructively work toward national dialogue, whether in Syria or Bahrain,” Rouhani wrote in an editorial for The Washington Post.

“We must create an atmosphere where peoples of the region can decide their own fates. As part of this, I announce my government’s readiness to help facilitate dialogue between the Syrian government and the opposition.”

Rouhani called for countries to interact with a positive goal in mind instead of focusing on frosty relations that have developed in recent decades. 

“We and our international counterparts have spent a lot of time – perhaps too much time – discussing what we don’t want rather than what we do want,” he wrote.

“This is not unique to Iran’s international relations. In a climate where much of foreign policy is a direct function of domestic politics, focusing on what one doesn’t want is an easy way out of difficult conundrums for many world leaders. Expressing what one does want requires more courage.”

“As I depart for New York for the opening of the UN General Assembly, I urged my counterparts to seize the opportunity presented by Iran’s recent election,” Rouhani wrote in the editorial.

“I urge them to make the most of the mandate for prudent engagement that my people have given me and to respond genuinely to my government’s efforts to engage in constructive dialogue.” 

The president told NBC Wednesday that “under no circumstances would [Iran] seek any weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons.”

Rouhani has also asked to meet with French President Francois Hollande at the UN General Assembly next week over the pending issue of Iran peaceful nuclear case.

Rouhani’s speech is expected to be one of the main events in the coming UN General Assembly.

NJF/NJF

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