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Iran reaffirms full support for Annan`s Syria plan

10th July 2012 | 2.892 Views
Tehran (ANTARA News/AFP) - Iran on Tuesday reaffirmed its full support for international envoy Kofi Annan`s peace plan aimed at ending the Syria crisis, saying that the plan should be fully implemented to restore stability.

"We expect that Mr Annan will continue his efforts to bring about stability and peace in Syria and the region," Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said at a joint news conference with the UN and Arab league envoy.

Annan arrived in Iran after talks with embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday and following a "Friends of Syria" meeting in Geneva last month to which Iran, Damascus`s staunchest regional ally, was not invited.

Tehran was excluded from the Geneva talks -- which the Islamic republic dubbed "unsuccessful" -- following US and EU objections.

The gathering in Switzerland agreed a plan for a political transition in Syria which did not make an explicit call for Assad to quit, although the West and the opposition made clear it saw no role for him in a unity government.

Annan, a former UN chief, on Tuesday reiterated his wish that Iran be involved in a solution to the crisis.

The West and the Syrian opposition accuse Tehran of supporting the regime in Damascus militarily, a charge it vehemently denies.

"There is a risk that the situation in Syrian gets out of hand and spreads to the region," Annan told reporters.

"Iran can play a positive role," he said, adding he would continue to work with the Iranian leadership to resolve the crisis which monitors say has cost more than 17,000 lives.

Salehi reiterated that "Iran is part of the solution" in Syria, and criticised Arab and Western countries, without naming names, for excluding it.

But he also hailed Annan`s "neutrality" on the issue.

Annan said he agreed with Assad on Monday on a new political "approach" to end the nearly 16-month conflict that he would put to the rebels.

He would not elaborate, saying he must first talk to the Syrian opposition.

Before leaving Tehran, Annan was also due to meet Saeed Jalili, the secretary of Iran`s supreme national security council. (RN)