Iran Says will Attend Geneva II Conference on Syria if Invited
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Determined to help the Syrian nation find a negotiated settlement to the crisis in the country, Iran will accept an invitation to take part in the Geneva 2 conference, whose date has not been decided yet, said Iran's foreign minister.
“If invited to the Geneva II conference, the Islamic Republic of Iran will definitely attend the meeting with the resolve to assist the Syrian nation in finding a political solution through dialogue,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said here in Tehran on Saturday, in a joint press conference with UN-Arab League Special Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi.
Describing the ongoing conditions in Syria as a “human catastrophe,” Zarif made it clear that Tehran’s purpose of attending the upcoming meeting is based on humanitarian and Islamic considerations and in step with Iran’s national and regional interests.
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.
Thereafter, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham announced 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 communiqué 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.
Brahimi, for his part, described Iran’s presence in the long-awaited gathering as “natural, necessary and useful”, adding that everybody waits to see Iranians in the conference.
Lakhdar Brahimi arrived in Iran’s capital of Tehran on Saturday to discuss the Syrian crisis with a number of Iranian officials.
Brahimi has also been to Egypt, Kuwait, Iraq and Turkey with the aim of pushing for the peace conference in Geneva next month.
His next destination is expected to be Damascus.
Meanwhile, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said on October 17 that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Brahimi both support Iran’s presence in the forthcoming Geneva II conference.
In a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in New York on October 2, Ban also underscored Tehran’s decisive role in the settlement of the crisis in Syria, stressing the need for Iran’s presence in any international conference on Syria.
While several officials, including Arab League chief Nabil El- Araby and Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Qadri Jamil have said they expect the Geneva 2 conference to convene on November 23, the United States, Russia and the United Nations have all said no date has been officially set.