MP: Iran Accepts No Precondition for Attending Geneva II Talks
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran, with its active diplomacy, can help solve the Syrian conflict that has raged on for more than two years, said an Iranian lawmaker, who stressed that Tehran would accept no preconditions for its presence in the Geneva II talks slated for late November.
“We are capable of resolving the existing problems in Syria in a manner that secures the interests of its people, but would not yield to any precondition in this respect for presence in Geneva II Conference,” Member of Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Ahmad Bakhshayesh told Tasnim News Agency on Saturday.
He said that the reason why Iran would not accept any preconditions in this respect is that the first conference in Geneva on Syria envisaged the establishment of a transitional government that could include officials serving under President Bashar al-Assad and members of the opposition.
Focusing on the positive role that Iran can play in Geneva II and Tehran’s contribution to resolving the Syrian conflict, Bakshayesh said, “Iran is a major power in the region and is capable of solving the regional problems.”
The MP added that it was the proactive Iranian diplomacy that prevented the outbreak of another war and foreign military intervention in Syria.
Earlier this month, US State Department said the United States might agree with Iran's participation in a potential Geneva II talks over Syria if Tehran backs the "Geneva I Communique" which called for a transitional government in Syria.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzyeh Afkhamran said in response that her country would not accept any precondition for attending peace talks on Syria.
"If our presence (in peace talks on Syria) will help find a solution, setting precondition for inviting Iran to the talks is not acceptable, and we do not accept any condition," Afkham said.
"The Islamic republic has always underlined dialogues between the conflicting sides in Syria as the only way for putting an end to the horrific crisis in Syria and is ready to contribute to this procedure," she added.
The Syrian government has already agreed to attend peace talks, as has Ahmed Jarba, the head of the umbrella opposition coalition. But many others from the fractious rebel groups as well as the extremist ones which are allied to al-Qaeda have rejected participating in any future talks that involve the Syrian government.
Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil said on Thursday that a long-delayed international conference aimed to bring the Syrian government and opposition together to seek an end to the country's civil war is scheduled to be held November 23-24.
The announcement comes more than five months after the United States and Russia announced on May 7 that they would try to bring the warring parties to a second conference in Geneva to implement the peace plan they endorsed in 2012, what is now known as Geneva 1.
The toll of dead from the two-and -a -half year long conflict in Syria is over 115,000, according to the latest figures by the UN, which also estimated earlier this month that more than six million Syrians could have been forced from their homes, of whom more than two million have fled to neighboring countries.