Tehran: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has described his meetings with two UN envoys on Yemen and Afghanistan as fruitful and expressed Iran’s readiness to facilitate peace efforts in the two war-torn countries.
Zarif met with UN Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy on Afghanistan Jean Arnault and Martin Griffiths, the UN special envoy for Yemen. He discussed with the two UN officials the latest developments in Afghanistan and Yemen.
“Fruitful talks with UNSG SRs on Afghanistan, Mr. Arnault, and on Yemen, Mr. Griffiths. Key theme: Peace processes must be owned by all Afghans and Yemenis—without external imposition. Important common denominator: Iran seeks regional peace and stability. Ready to facilitate,” the Iranian foreign minister said on Twitter.
Griffiths held talks with Zarif on various aspects of the Yemen crisis and the ways to achieve peace and stability in the country according to a statement issued by the Iranian Foreign Ministry.
In the Tuesday meeting, the Iranian foreign minister elaborated on Iran’s viewpoint on ending the Yemen crisis, the developments following the beginning of the crisis in the country, and underlined the need for removing the blockade against the country and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people.
Foreign Minister Zarif expounded on Iran’s principled policy that war is not a solution to the Yemen crisis, and said the current disastrous situation in Yemen – which has put the Yemeni people on the verge of a humanitarian disaster after six years – can only be wound up through political talks and peaceful ways.
The UN envoy, in turn, briefed the Iranian chief diplomat on the results of his negotiations with relevant bodies on the Yemen crisis.
Griffiths, who will soon be appointed as UN undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs, also met with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Mohsen Baharvand.
In the meeting, Baharvand congratulated Griffiths on his new post, and stressed the importance of the United Nations’ humanitarian aid in conflict zones, especially in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq regardless of political considerations and pressure.
Despite cruel sanctions, he said, Iran has always stood ready to help the UN expedite the trend of sending humanitarian aid to the needy in war-hit areas.
“Unfortunately, the United States’ unilateral sanctions have not only impeded trade in humanitarian goods such as buying food and drugs, but also overshadowed the UN’s dispatching of humanitarian aid to the needy in conflict-stricken and crisis-hit zones,” the senior Iranian diplomat explained.
“As soon as Griffiths assumes his new responsibility, he should put this issue on the agenda,” he added.
Baharvand proposed that an international contract be drawn up under which humanitarian assistance and trade cannot be targeted by sanctions and political considerations or be used for military purposes.
The Iranian official also expressed deep concern over a rise in terrorist attacks in Afghanistan against specific ethnic groups and religions, especially girls’ schools. AFP