Turkey Calls Geneva1 Communique Precondition for Next Conference on Syria

Turkey Calls Geneva1 Communique Precondition for Next Conference on Syria

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Turkish foreign ministry spokesman said Ankara would welcome all countries in the upcoming Geneva 2 peace conference on Syria as long as they endorse the final communique of the Geneva 1 conference, held in June 2012.

“We would set no specific preconditions for Iran or any other country (for participation in Geneva 2 conference). What we say is that we would welcome the presence of any country that accepts the parameters of the Geneva 1 meeting and promotes the negotiations among parties in the Geneva 2 (conference), and accepts its parameters,” Levent Gumrukcu told the Tasnim News Agency on Tuesday.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced on November 25 that the much delayed Geneva 2 Conference on Syria will be held on January 22, 2014.

The conference would bring representatives from Syria's government and elements of the opposition to negotiate an end to the fighting that has raged on since March 2011.

Geneva 2 is the second sequel of Geneva 1 conference held in June 2012 in which international parties laid out a peace plan for Syria that calls for a transitional governing body. It left open the question of whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must leave power.

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.

Earlier in November, US State Department said Washington might agree with Iran's participation in the upcoming 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.

According to UN-Arab League Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, about 30 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Brazil, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, would be invited to the day-long conference on January 22 in the Swiss city of Montreux.

Brahimi told media on Friday that Iran's participation at the Syria peace conference had not been decided upon yet due to the US opposition.

"The US is still not convinced Iran's participation would be the right thing to do," said Brahimi at a news conference after a day of meetings with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Syria’s neighbors Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.

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