France welcomes Iran peace plan for Syria
A senior French diplomat has described Iran’s four-point peace plan for Syria as useful and conducive to the settlement of the crisis in the Arab state.
Jean-François Girault, French Foreign Ministry’s director for North Africa and Middle East affairs, made the remarks in a meeting with Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran on Saturday.
Girault said Tehran and Paris should continue consultations over Syria and other Middle Eastern countries, adding that terrorist groups operating in Syria pose threats to France and Europe.
Amir-Abdollahian, for his part, warned of the dangerous consequences of the spread of terrorism and extremism in the Middle East.
He also said that the upcoming presidential election in Syria would be a domestic issue.
Iran’s proposed peace plan stresses a political settlement to the crisis in Syria, the territorial integrity and independence of the Arab country as well as its people’s right to self-determination in a democratic election.
Syria’s presidential election will start on June 3. The vote will be held in the government-controlled parts of the crisis-hit country. Syrians living abroad are also set to vote on May 28.
Damascus has insisted that it would hold the vote despite the foreign-backed militancy that has plagued the Arab country for more than three years.
Syria has dismissed Western and opposition accusations regarding the presidential election, saying it is planning to hold a free and transparent vote.
Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011.
According to some reports, over 150,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by Western-backed militants.