Soleimani a peacemaker with great diplomatic skills: Zarif

TEHRAN, Jan. 04 (MNA) – The Iranian foreign minister hailed the braveries of former IRGC Qods Forces chief, Lt. General Ghasem Soleimani, saying he was not only a peace-seeking hero but also a great figure in diplomacy.

Speaking in a televised interview late on Sunday, Mohammad Javad Zarif said, “As a person who has always worked in the field of peace and negotiation, I truly consider General Soleimani, not just a champion of the fight against terrorists, but also a hero in peace-making efforts.”

The interview was made on the first martyrdom anniversary of Lt. Gen. Ghasem Soleimani and Second-in-Command of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMU) Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were assassinated at Baghdad International Airport on Jan. 3, 2020, by the US terrorists.

The top diplomat referred to his tenure as Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations, saying that back then, he enjoyed Soleimani’s advice for negotiations.

The General’s advice was always “useful”, Zarif added.

General Soleimani had a distinguished character, who gave importance to ending any struggle, namely wars in Afghanistan and Syria, Zarif said, noting that every peace proposal that Iran suggested for the regional developments, Soleimani proposed and supported them.

“Hajj Ghasem’s consultations were always useful to me, and I really didn’t take any advice from other people. Once I asked the Supreme Leader to allow Hajj Ghasem to personally participate in the session, and I was sure the talks would have been much more successful with him in attendance,” he added.

Zarif further praised Soleimani’s personal characteristics, describing him as a person who cared about people’s lives, reputation, and end of conflicts.

“Any peace plan I pursued had definitely been devised by Hajj Ghasem; he both encouraged us and helped us with the follow-ups,” he added.

Zarif then highlighted the significant role played by General Soleimani in the 2001 Bonn Conference, which resulted in an agreement on the re-creation of the State of Afghanistan following the US invasion of the country.

“Martyr Soleimani played a more important role in Tehran by holding talks with all jihadi groups of Afghanistan, to convince them to accept an equation which could shape a new future for Afghanistan in the years to come,” he noted.

MNA/IRN84172559

News Code 168033

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