DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- The bloodshed in Syria must be stopped before its people could decide their own future in a free and fair election, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said here Thursday.
"Syria has been engulfed in a major catastrophe. Millions of innocent have been killed, injured or become homeless," Rouhani said at a session of the ongoing World Economic Forum.
He said, to end the crisis, bloodshed in the country must be stopped first, then parties should work together to "push terrorists out of Syria."
"I advise the countries who support them that this is not in their interests, the next stop of the terrorists will be their countries," Rouhani said.
The president said, after clearing out the terrorists, the road should be paved for negotiations between the opposition and Syrian government.
"The best solution is to organize a free and fair election," he said, adding all parties should work together to create conditions leading to the election, and accept the results.
Rouhani emphasized it was up to the Syrian people to decide their own future.
"No outside countries or powers can decide for the Syrian people and Syria as a country," he said.
Iran is absent from the ongoing Geneva II conference on Syria in Montreux, Switzerland.
In an interview Wednesday, Rouhani said, as "an important country who has influence in the region, Iran's presence could be useful for solving the problem of Syria as soon as possible."
Geneva II conference shadowed by clashes, accusations
MONTREUX, Switzerland, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- The international conference on Syria opened Wednesday was shadowed by clashes and accusations on the first day.
Bashar Jaafari, Permanent Representative of Syria to the United Nations, told journalists he was disappointed at the format of the ministerial meeting. Most of the 40 participants were "anti-Syria delegations", and their speeches "provocative and repetitive statements based on hatred towards the Syrian government", he said. Full story