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Interview: Syrian government calls for dialogue over domestic crisis: deputy FM

By Zhu Xiaolong, Yang Shuyi, Du Yuanjiang (Xinhua)

12:55, August 29, 2012

TEHRAN, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Syrian government calls for a " national dialogue" to be held between it and the opposition, in a bid to end the lingering political crisis in the country, a senior diplomatic said Tuesday.

On the sidelines of the two-day ministerial level meeting of the 16th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad told Xinhua that his government urges a dialogue over the Syria crisis.

He also called on the Arab League (AL) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to exert positive influence to promote negotiations and dialogues between Syrian government and the opposition.

Mikdad put the blame on the opposition for the failure of holding any dialogues to solve the crisis in the country.

The Syrian opposition refused to have dialogues with the government because they have been receiving foreign funds and weapons, he said, adding that "The opposition is demolishing the country and they are doomed to fail." the Syrian refugees.

Iranian officials said days ago that Tehran would put forward a peace plan on the Syria crisis on the sidelines of the NAM meetings.

Mikdad said he appreciates the efforts made by Iran, one of Syria's closest allies, and believes Iran will present an " objective, fair and square" proposal on Syria.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told Xinhua Monday the peace plan will use peaceful ways to settle the Syrian issue, including preventing foreign interference, stopping violence and preventing weapons from flowing into Syria and working within the framework of the former UN-Arab League joint envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan.

Meanwhile, Mikdad denied reports that Syrian government has chemical weapons.

Foreign ministers and other diplomats from more than 100 countries attended the ministerial level meeting on Tuesday.

The two-day ministerial level meeting, started here on Tuesday, is held after a preparatory senior officials meeting on Aug. 26-27 and will be followed by the NAM summit on Aug. 30-31.

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