Iranian FM meets Bulgarian counterpart, discusses Syria and Yemen

Iranian FM meets Bulgarian counterpart, discusses Syria and Yemen
The foreign ministers of Iran and Bulgaria met on Wednesday and discussed the ongoing conflicts in Yemen and Syria, along with the faltering Iran nuclear deal.
2 min read
01 March, 2018
Mohammed Javad Zarif met with his Bulgarian counterpart on Wednesday [Getty]
The foreign ministers of Iran and Bulgaria discussed the security situation in war-torn Middle Eastern countries when they met on Wednesday.

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva and her Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said they talked about the current situation in Yemen and Syria and the importance of fighting terrorism and extremism as a common global threat.

As part of his trip to Eastern Europe, Zarif is heading an economic delegation to Bulgaria, which currently holds the rotating six-month EU presidency.

"We discussed the need to end hostilities in the region, the need for a political solution leading to stability, security and peace for the people in the affected countries," Syria and Yemen, Zarif said.

"A political solution for Syria can only be found if all negotiating parties are prepared to follow a formula in which all countries benefit.”

Read also: Special coverage: Hell on earth: The destruction of Eastern Ghouta

Tehran has faced heavy criticism for its support for the Assad regime, responsible for killing thousands of civilians, along with arming the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Zarif also held talks with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev and Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.

Borissov voiced concerns about rising tensions in the Middle East and expressed hope that "despite differences, Iran and other countries will find contact points for consultations to get out of the crisis."

"The war in Syria must be stopped by the diplomats and not by the armies," Borissov said in statement.

Borissov and Zarif voiced support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran's nuclear programme and underscored that it needs to be implemented by all parties.

Iran is one of the only state allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian conflict began when the Baath regime, in power since 1963 and led by President Bashar al-Assad, responded with military force to peaceful protests demanding democratic reforms during the Arab Spring wave of uprisings, triggering an armed rebellion fuelled by mass defections from the Syrian army.

According to independent monitors, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, mostly by the regime and its powerful allies, and millions have been displaced both inside and outside of Syria. The brutal tactics pursued mainly by the regime, which have included the use of chemical weapons, sieges, mass executions and torture against civilians have led to war crimes investigations.