Iran plans to host meeting on Syria crisis

August 06, 2012, Monday/ 16:32:00

Iran plans to host a meeting of regional and other countries that have "realistic stances" on Syria later this week to find ways to resolve the country's crisis, the official IRNA news agency reported on Monday.

"A consultation meeting on Syria will be held in Tehran on Thursday with the participation of those countries who have  ... realistic stances on this country," IRNA quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian as saying on Monday.

The aim of the meeting is to find "ways out of the current crisis, the return of stability and calm to that country and also supporting all constructive regional and international efforts", Abdollahian said.

The report did not say which countries were invited to the meeting but, because of their involvement in the Syrian crisis, any meeting held without Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey is unlikely to have any significant result.

Shi'ite Muslim Iran has steadfastly supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his struggle to crush the 17-month-old rebellion against his rule, although it had backed other popular uprisings which removed leaders in Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

Iranian leaders have accused the West of plotting with Arab countries to overthrow the Syrian leadership and bolster the status of Israel in the region by backing extremist militant groups.

Last month, Iran said it was ready to host talks between the Syrian government and opposition groups, an offer rejected by members of the Syrian opposition.