(TEHRAN, Iran) — The summit in Iran about how to deal with the conflict in Syria ended with the participants urging a ceasefire and an end to aggressions between President Bashar al-Assad’s government and opposition forces.
An estimated 200 political representatives from Syrian ethnic groups were invited to the National Syrian Dialogue Meeting hosted by Iran with the slogan of “Violence No, Democracy Yes.”
Besides rejecting the violence that has taken at least 35,000 lives over the past 20 months, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said the meeting addressed the need for national unity and sovereignty of Syria as well as recognizing the country’s territorial integrity and the demands of the Syrian people.
However, since Iran, a close ally to al-Assad, was also pushing its own agenda, there were doubts raised about the legitimacy of the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, which is supported by the U.S., Turkey and various Arab states.
The summit also produced a universal condemnation of Iran’s bitter enemy Israel, with the participants apparently blaming the Israelis for much of the upheaval occurring in Syria.
Salehi added that there should be no foreign interference whatsoever when it comes to deciding the ultimate solution to the crisis.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN