Iran welcomes UN peace plan for Syria

TEHRAN: Iran on Thursday welcomed a UN peace plan aimed at ending the four-year war in its ally Syria, saying President Bashar al-Assad’s regime needed to be directly involved. 

“This new plan is seen as a step by regional and international players toward a better understanding of the reality on the ground and on the political level,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham was quoted as saying by news agency ISNA. 

“The people and government of Syria have the key role in this process,” she said. 

Iran is Assad’s key regional ally, providing him with financial and military support. 

On Monday the UN Security Council adopted a new push for peace talks in Syria, which was also endorsed by Russia, another key ally of the Damascus regime, and the other 14 member states. 

The peace initiative, set to begin in September, would set up four working groups to address safety and protection, counter terrorism, political and legal issues and reconstruction. 

The council demanded all sides work for an end to the war by “launching a Syrian-led political process leading to a political transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.” 

It also mentions the creation of “an inclusive transitional governing body”. 

The adoption came amid a flurry of diplomatic activity by Russia, the United States, Saudi Arabia and Iran to try to advance prospects for ending the war that has left at least 240,000 dead.

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