Mehmanparast Stresses Participation of Strong Regional States in Geneva 2

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The influential regional states should be part of the process to resolve the Syrian crisis, Former Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast underlined.

Mehmanparast Stresses Participation of Strong Regional States in Geneva 2

"If the regional problems are to be resolved, the  strong regional countries should be invited (to peace conference on Syia)," Mehmanparast told reporters on Monday evening.

Mehmanparast said the international gathering due to be held in Geneva to find a solution to the crisis in Syria "would bear no tangible results in the absence of major regional countries" and their effective contribution.

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.

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 in December 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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