Iran’s Presence in Geneva II Conference on Syria Conditional: Speaker
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian parliament speaker lashed out at the US officials for laying down certain conditions for Tehran’s participation in an upcoming conference on Syrian crisis in Geneva, saying the Islamic Republic has also its own conditions for attending the gathering.
“Iran attends the Geneva II (conference) when only a democratic solution based upon the Syrian people’s votes would be the basis of discussions,” Ali Larijani told a Wednesday session of the parliament.
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 backed the "Geneva I Communiqué" which called for a transitional government in Syria.
“Such propaganda gestures will have no effect on the Islamic Republic’s strategy,” the Iranian speaker noted, referring to the US officials’ comments on Iran’s conditional attendance in Geneva, due to be held in late November.
Earlier on Monday, Foreign Minister for Euro-American Affairs Majid Takht Ravanchi expressed Tehran’s preparedness to play a positive role in the conference, but at the same time rejected any preconditions for Iran’s presence in the long-awaited gathering.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham, too, had announced earlier 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 final communique issued on 30 June 2012, following the meeting of the so-called Action Group for Syria called for an immediate cessation of violence and the establishment of a transitional government that could include officials serving under President Bashar al-Assad and members of the opposition.
Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil has also said 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.
On Monday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told Lebanon's al-Mayadeen television that his government would take part in the conference without preconditions, but added the prospects that it would reach a settlement were dim.
"No time has been set, and the factors are not yet in place if we want to succeed... Which forces are taking part? What relation do these forces have with the Syrian people? Do these forces represent the Syrian people, or do they represent the states that invented them," he asked.
Ahmad Jarba, head of the main opposition grouping, the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), who was in London on Tuesday as part of a meeting between Syrian opposotion groups and foreign ministers from the so-called Friends of Syria group, said the coalition would decide at a meeting next week whether to participate in the Geneva talks.