Zero-Sum Solution to Syrian Crisis Will Not Work: Zarif

Zarif in China University

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif rejected the possibility of a win-lose approach for resolving the crisis in Syria, saying an effectual initiative should include all sides.

Speaking at the Peking University in the Chinese capital on Tuesday, Iran’s Foreign Minister outlined Iran’s stances on world issues.

According to a report by IFP, the top Iranian diplomat said the military approach is not the perfect means of fighting terrorism.

“The military approach is not the ultimate approach to resolving extremism, and toward that end, cultural and university programs must be tapped to degrade and destroy this phenomenon,” Zarif said.

Zarif said the main cause of extremism and terrorism is “feelings of hate, desperation, and dissatisfaction that occupation has brought to nations.”

He said hegemonic powers harboured wrong perceptions of world politics, including that a country can achieve something only at the expense of other states.

The pursuance of zero-sum games, Zarif said, manifested itself in the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq by US-led military forces.

“Can we now say that America is safer because of the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq?” he asked. “That is not the case, and this is a wrong perception.”

He said Iran practiced the notion of “win-win” solutions for global issues by engaging in negotiations with six countries over its nuclear program, Press TV reported

Turning to Syria, he said, “If there is an insistence on a particular person’s departure from the country’s presidency, well, he has his own supporters, and that is true of the opposition, too.”

“We must have a global network with shared interests and mutual cooperation, [a network of countries] that would acknowledge the reality that we are all on the same boat and have to endeavour together to solve problems,” the Iranian foreign minister said.

On the crisis that has gripped the Arab country for six years, the Iranian minister noted that settlement of the crisis should entail “inclusion, not exclusion”, stressing that insistence on the overthrow of a president will get nowhere, because both the Syrian president and the opposition have their own proponents.

According to Tasnim’s report, he also made it clear that Iran and China share views on the modern world realities and conform to the ‘inclusion not exclusion’ game.

Zarif further highlighted the constructive results of academic and cultural collaboration between Iran and China in the fight against extremism, reiterating that military approaches could by no means tackle extremism.

The Iranian minister finally hailed China for playing a positive role in addressing the conflicts, as in Syria, not pursuing the role of a superpower.

Heading a mainly trade delegation, Zarif was in China as the second leg of an Asian tour that took him earlier to India for the 6th conference of the ‘Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process’.

He has now left Beijing for Tokyo for an official visit to Japan.

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