Syria Deplores West's Opposition to Iran’s Participation in Geneva 2
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Meqdad lashed out at certain western countries for opposing Iran’s participation in the upcoming Geneva 2 peace conference, slated for January 22.
In a Tuesday meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Tehran, the visiting Syrian diplomat leveled criticism at some western countries for blocking plans for participation of Iran in the Geneva 2 peace conference, and once again emphasized the need for Tehran’s role in any international initiative for peace in Syria.
“The Syrian government believes that presence of the region’s influential countries, particularly Iran, in this gathering (Geneva 2 conference)… will stabilize stability and security in the region and the world,” Meqdad explained.
The much delayed Geneva 2 conference on Syria is set to be held on January 22.
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.
Foreign Minister Zarif, for his part, reiterated that Tehran backs any solution to the Syrian crisis that would include political and Syrian-Syrian approaches.
The Iranian minister, however, rejected any precondition for the country’s attendance at the long-awaited Geneva 2 conference, and insisted that “based on its fundamental stance, Iran will spare no effort to help settle the Syrian crisis.”
He emphasized that Iran is ready to be “officially and fully” present in the upcoming conference, in case it receives a formal invitation.
Earlier on Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham lashed out at the US secretary of state for his recent remarks on Iran’s possible role on the sidelines of the upcoming Geneva 2 conference on Syria, saying Tehran only accepts proposals that uphold the country's dignity.
“Tehran only accepts proposals that would comply with the Islamic Republic of Iran's honor,” she said, reacting to the US Secretary of State John Kerry’s comments on how Tehran should attend at the upcoming peace conference on Syria.
Kerry had announced on Sunday that Iran could be helpful even on the sidelines of a second round of Geneva talks on Syria.
The top US diplomat made clear that it would be difficult to see how Tehran could be a "ministerial partner" in the upcoming negotiations because it did not participate in the first round of talks.