Iran urges Washington to withdraw forces from Syria

TEHRAN, Dec. 17 (MNA) – Announcing the country's support for the Syrian people and government in the fight against terrorism and occupation, Iran’s Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations said that US forces should leave Syria.

Addressing a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on "Middle East: Syria – Political and Humanitarian" on Wednesday, Majid Takht-Ravanchi said that everyone should fully respect the sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria.

Full text of his remarks reads as follows:

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is fully committed to contributing to a political solution of the Syrian crisis.

This is a message that our President and other high-ranking officials of our country conveyed to the Foreign Minister of Syria in his recent visit to Tehran, where a broad range of issues, including the ways and means of preserving the Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity and reducing the sufferings of the Syrian people were discussed extensively.

Likewise, the latest developments in the political process were discussed in recent consultations between Iran’s special envoy on Syria and SRSG Pedersen, who briefed the Iranian side on the outcome of the fourth meeting of the Constitutional Committee. They also exchanged views on facilitating the successful convening of the Committee’s next meeting.

The Committee must continue its work and operate without any external interference or pressure or setting any artificial deadline to conclude its work.

The only objective of the political process must be to enable the Syrian people to determine the future of their country by themselves.

Furthermore, sovereignty, political independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria must be fully respected by all, separatist agendas and illegitimate self-rule initiatives must be rejected, and all foreign forces whose presence is not permitted by the Syrian Government, particularly the US forces who are following a hidden agenda, must leave Syria.

Places like Idlib must not turn into a safe haven for terrorist groups, and accordingly, while every effort should be made to protect the lives of civilians, combating terrorists must be continued until the full removal of their threats.

We strongly condemn Israel’s continued aggression against Syria. Such provocative military adventurism must stop.

Facilitating Syria’s reconstruction and the safe and voluntary return of refugees and IDPs to their original places of residence in Syria need to be part of an overall solution to the current conflict in Syria. The interests of millions of Syrian refugees must not be held hostage for political gains by certain powers. Delaying their return will only prolong their sufferings.

Along the same line, unilateral sanctions particularly those of the United States target the most vulnerable people the most, adding to their sufferings. This inhumane practice must come to an end.

We will continue to support the people and Government of Syria in their struggle to overcome the threats of terrorism and foreign occupation."

ZZ/IRN84151185/PR

News Code 167275

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