Syria Ceasefire Should Not Reinforce Terrorist Groups

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says any ceasefire in Syria should not give an advantage to terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the Arab country.

“A ceasefire in Syria does not mean allowing Daesh, al-Nusra Front, and other al-Qaeda-affiliated groups to carry on their activities,” Zarif said.

Zarif also said that Iran has always supported any kind of truce in Syria; adding, however, that the details of such a plan should be discussed.

“Iran has always believed that the crisis in Syria has no military solution,” the Iranian minister said, adding, “the plans presented so far have brought about the issue of ceasefire, and Iran has emphasized the matter in addition to the delivery of humanitarian aid since the first negotiation meeting in Vienna.”

The International Syria Support Group (ISSG) agreed in the German city of Munich on February 12 to a “cessation of hostilities” in Syria and to implement a ceasefire in a week. However, acts of terrorism continue unabated in the country.

The ISSG said in a statement that the ceasefire in Syria does not include areas held by groups designated as terrorist organizations by the United Nations Security Council, including Daesh and al-Nusra Front.

The ISSG members also asked the UN to resume the collapsed peace talks between the Syrian government and the Saudi-backed Syrian opposition group known as the High Negotiations Committee (HNC).

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on February 15 that "a ceasefire means in the first place halting the terrorists from strengthening their positions. Movement of weapons, equipment or terrorists, or fortification of positions, will not be allowed."

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has also called for an effective supervision of the truce deal planned for Syria, saying the terrorists should not use the lull in the fighting for receiving more weapons and funds.

“The way the truce is monitored should be clarified and strict border controls should be put in place to prevent the movement of terrorists and the delivery of financial aid and arms to them,” Rouhani said.

The Iranian president said the Syria ceasefire agreement, which has been reached between Russia and the United States, still contains ambiguities and shortcomings, adding that elimination of these deficiencies is necessary to do away with existing concerns.

Rouhani said any delivery of humanitarian aid to people in need in Syria should be carried out under the auspices of the Syrian government.

The Iranian president also called for the immediate release of hostages and those innocently detained by the warring sides.

*Photo Credit: ISNA

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