Rouhani Tells Brahimi Iran Ready to Host Syria Neighbors Conference
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran is willing to host a meeting of Syria's neighboring countries in order to help bring their views on the crisis closer and has informed some regional countries, including Turkey about the matter, President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday.
President Rouhani made the proposal public around on Sunday in a meeting with visiting UN-Arab League Special Envoy on Syria Lakhdar Brahimi.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran will spare no effort to put an end to the conflict and restore peace and security in Syria,” said President Rouhani.
Almost all the stakeholders in the crisis are united in their opposition to the presence of terrorist groups from the region and beyond in Syria, the death of defenseless people in clashes , the massive destruction wreaked on the country by the prolonged war and the displacement of millions of people, said President Rouhani.
"The second issue they concur on is that the future of Syria must be decided according to the votes and views of the Syrian people in a free election contested by all sides; but how to reach from the current situation to the desired point remains the main sticking point," added Rouhani.
Brahimi who has traveled to various countries ahead of the planned Geneva 2 conference, said the gathering aims to lay the ground for the warring sides in Syria to sit at the negotiating table to find ways to end the deadly violence which has claimed the lives of more than 115,000 people and caused more than two million to flee their country.
“I have always strongly supported the presence of Iran at Geneva II conference, and believe that either way, whether Iran attends the gathering or not, we will maintain close cooperation with Iran during the gathering and afterwards to secure peace in Syria,” he said.
During a meeting between President Rouhani and Brahimi on the sidelines of the 68th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in late September, the Iranian president once again underlined Tehran's readiness to take part in the planned Geneva II conference on the Syrian crisis without any preconditions.
“If invited without any preconditions, Iran will participate in the Geneva II conference in order to help resolve the Syrian crisis,” President Rouhani said at the time.
Earlier this month, the US State Department said that Washington would be open to Iran taking part in a Geneva 2 conference if it supported the Geneva 1 statement which called for a transitional authority to rule Syria, but Tehran has rejected this, saying it was unacceptable to set conditions on its attendance.
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.