Iran urges foreign fighters to leave Syria

DAVOS: Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif avoided to single out Hezbollah in call for foreigners to leave the war-torn country

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Iran wants all foreign fighters to leave Syria, according to the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Zarif, speaking at an Al Arabiya panel held in cooperation with the World Economic Forum in Davos, avoided to single out Hezbollah in his call for foreign forces to withdraw from the war-torn country.


“I can ask all foreign forces to withdraw... to allow the Syrian people to decide their own future,” he said.

He also called for foreign forces to “stop funneling funds, money and arms” into Syria.

The situation in Syria had “created a breeding ground for terrorists”, he added.

“Many of the extremists who are fighting in Syria come from all over the world, they come from Europe, they come from the Middle East, they come from elsewhere. And once they go back to their homes, this will be a disaster for all of us.”

Zarif also called for an “end to the illusion that there can be a military solution” in Syria. He said that he was ready to visit Saudi Arabia, and that Iran seeks to establish good ties with its neighbors.

The Al Arabiya panel, entitled ‘The End Game for the Middle East’, sought to examine how accelerated diplomacy, historical rivalries and social transformations are converging to reshape the Middle East.

Speakers discussed how fundamental shifts in the region may be translated into stability and prosperity for future generations.

The panel was moderated by Rima Maktabi, Senior Anchor and Roving Correspondent at the Al Arabiya News Channel.

Other speakers included: Massoud Barzani, President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq; Ahmet Davutoglu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey; Nasser Sami Judeh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Ghassan Salamé, Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs; and Richard N. Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations in the United States.

Watch in Full: Al Arabiya’s special panel in Davos: “The End Game for the Middle East”

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