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Syria - Sep 8, 2011 - 02:07

Last modified: 7 Sep 2011 23:07

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should back away from his violent crackdown on protesters and enter talks with the opposition.

"There should be talks" between the Syrian government and its opponents, Ahmadinejad said Wednesday in a live interview with Portuguese broadcaster Radiotelevisao Portuguesa.

"A military solution is never the right solution," Ahmadinejad said, according to a simultaneous Portuguese translation of his comments.

"Problems have to be dealt with through dialogue," he said.

Iran, Damascus' chief ally, has blamed the US and Israel for instigating more than five months of protests in Syria.

The U.S. and other nations have accused Iran of helping Assad crush the uprising. - Associated Press