UN Chief, Iran's Deputy FM Confer on Syria in Kuwait
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian in a meeting in Kuwait City conferred on the latest developments in Syria and further humanitarian assistance to the crisis-hit Arab state.
During the meeting held on the sidelines of the Second International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria on Tuesday, the UN chief reiterated the international body’s support for Iran’s participation in the upcoming peace conference on Syria due to be held in Geneva.
“I insisted on the necessity of Iran’s participation in (my) negotiations with all regional and international sides, who are involved in Syrian issue, because in my opinion Iran is a major player,” Ban said.
Elsewhere, Ban pointed to the recent developments regarding Iran's nuclear program, and welcomed a recent agreement between Iran and the six major world powers to start implementing the interim nuclear deal reached between the two sides in Geneva in November.
Amir Abdollahian, for his part, said Iran is prepared to provide more humanitarian aid to the Syrian people.
The Iranian official also said Tehran is ready to take part in the Geneva 2 conference on Syria if invited and "without any preconditions."
He also stressed the importance of pursuing a political approach to the crisis in Syria, and stated that the issue has no militry solution.
The much delayed Geneva 2 peace conference on Syria is set to be held on January 22 in the Swiss city of Montreux.
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.
Syria's war that started in 2011 has killed over 100,000 people and forced more than 2 million to flee abroad, according to the UN. Another 4 million have been displaced inside the country.
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.