TEHRAN, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Tuesday that recent parliamentary elections in Syria is the "second step" in a course of reforms in the Arab country.
The participation of the Syrian people in the parliamentary elections is a sign of their will and understanding in resolving their domestic issues via peaceful means, said Mehmanparast.
Iran asks regional and non-regional countries to support Kofi Annan's plan for Syria and let the reforms be implemented in the country and stability and security be restored, he added.
He called on certain countries and urged them to refrain from what he called "supplying arms" to the opposition of Syrian government and to join international efforts to settle the problems of the Arab state.
The Monday elections, the first of its kind in Syria under a new constitution that ends the power monopoly of President Bashar al-Assad's Baath Party and allows a multi-party system, are part of the government's reform program aimed at quelling the bloody unrest that has been raging across the country since 2011.
Syrian authorities said 7,195 candidates from 12 political parties were competing for the 250 parliamentary seats. However, the main opposition groups boycotted the vote amid fighting with the government security forces.
UN observers are being deployed in Syria to monitor a ceasefire brokered by Kofi Annan, the joint UN-Arab League envoy.
Syrian parliamentary elections moving smoothly with "remarkable" turnout: minister
DAMASCUS, May 7 (Xinhua) -- Syrian Interior Minister Mohammad Ibrahim al-Sha'ar said Monday that the parliamentary elections are moving smoothly with "remarkable" turnout, the state-run SANA news agency reported.
"The voting is moving normally... There is no problem so far except some matters that usually happen in any electoral climate," he was quoted as saying. Full story
China hopes Syria's parliamentary election promotes reform
BEIJING, May 7 (Xinhua) -- China has taken note of parliamentary election proceedings in Syria, and hopes the election will help promote the reform process.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at a regular press briefing on Monday while commenting on the current situation in Syria.