World Bulletin / News Desk
Iran backs the idea of a ceasefire in Syria during an Islamic holiday next week and believes free elections are the right way to help resolve the 19-month-old conflict, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said according to Iran's state news agency.
Lakhdar Brahimi, the international mediator on Syria, has proposed that both Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces and rebel fighters seeking his overthrow stop fighting during the Eid al Adha festival, which starts next week.
Brahimi has appealed to leaders in Iran to support the idea.
Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday he had made the same proposal during talks this week with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, IRNA reported.
"Of course war cannot be a suitable solution and any group that derives power through war and means to continue war has no future," Ahmadinejad told reporters after an Asian summit in Kuwait, IRNA reported.
"Anyone who is the friend of the Syrian people should try to form the basis for free elections in the country. The ceasefire and negotiations on free elections in my view is the correct road to resolution."
Turkey, one of Assad's staunchest opponents, said it also supported the ceasefire proposal.
"The Arab League, Turkey and Iran have declared their support for this proposal," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference in Ankara, saying he had spoken to his Iranian counterpart on the matter.
Ahmadinejad said all governments should help to resolve the Syria conflict so that issues are resolved at the negotiating table, rather than in fighting.
"A national consensus is needed and it must bring unity for the future of Syria and based on the ceasefire. It is the people who should decide the future of Syria and whatever they vote for should be followed," he said.
He added that relations between Iran and regional countries including Kuwait were "intimate and brotherly," according to IRNA, saying that those who tried to paint Iran as a regional threat were wrong.
"It is not right because the Islamic Republic of Iran considers the regional security as its own security. Security has only been affected when foreign forces have been in the region," he said.
- Rodrigo Duterte calls for non-corrupt police, negotiations with communist and Muslim insurgents during chiefs’ oath-taking
Multiple homicide complaint filed against Benigno Aquino III over deaths of 44 police commandos in 2015 raid
Hardline nationalists threatened to demolish mosque in northern village if Muslim residents didn’t do so by end of June
- Victim's father says approves of son's decision not to file charges as may have to leave village
At least 27 cadets killed and 40 more wounded in attack near capital
No group has claimed responsibility for blasts on highway near Zamboanga City
Parliament that usually gathers in April convened in follow-up to rare Workers' Party of Korea congress held in May
Communist Party of China decides deputy, regarded as key ally of president, to replace Lu Wei
Exiled Communist Party leader says government, rebels, to accelerate negotiations
Of 15 safety inspectors underground during accident, 8 managed to escape but 2 remain missing
Police say insurgents suspected in latest fatal attack to hit troubled region
UN says progress slow on Sri Lanka's post-war reconciliation
Over 3,800 turn themselves in to police in southern Mindanao alone ahead of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s inauguration
North Korea responds aggressively to 'military provocation,' as major parliamentary gathering gets underway in Pyongyang
55 Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmakers boycotting assembly since police failed attempt to arrest their deputy leader
7 Indonesians among 13 crew travelling on tugboat when attacked by Filipino gunmen last week