Iran hosts conference over Syria violence
TEHRAN - The Associated PressIran held yesterday a conference to reconcile Syria’s government with opposition factions and end the country’s civil war, the official IRNA news agency reported.
The report said the meeting of some 200 opposition members and Syria’s National Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar could be a step toward a future, broad-based opposition gathering, although it did not say if any of Syria’s major rebel or exile groups had attended. Most of those groups distrust Iran, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Felicity Party (Saadet) Chair Mustafa Kamalak also attended the conference.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi warned at the opening of the meeting that providing opposition groups with heavy arms could put the entire region at risk of “organized terrorism.” He said that arming al-Assad’s opponents violates international law and principles of non-intervention in countries’ domestic affairs. The conference is seen as a reaction to last week’s meeting in Qatar in which opposition groups formed an umbrella coalition to topple al-Assad.