Iranian FM Hopes for Fruitful Peace Conference on Syria
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s minister of foreign affairs said the upcoming Geneva 2 peace conference on Syria has enormous political potential, and noted that the gathering will open the door to end further bloodshed in the crisis-torn country if it proves fruitful.
“The Geneva 2 meeting has political and international potential for (ending) the Syrian crisis, and its success can prevent the continuation of killing of innocent people and (continuation of) extremism,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in Damascus on Wednesday.
As the final leg of his tour of the Middle East, Zarif arrived in the Syrian capital of Damascus this morning after visiting the three countries of Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan over the past two days.
Zarif’s trip to Syria, like his meeting with President Assad, was aimed to find peaceful solution to the prolonged crisis that has plagued Syria since 2011.
Elsewhere in his remarks at the meeting with Syria’s president, Zarif expressed Tehran’s preparedness to broaden economic, political and cultural relations with Damascus.
He also insisted that the best solution to the prolonged crisis in Syria should be based upon realism and should also include political dialogues.
Assad, for his part, expressed his gratitude to the Islamic Republic for its unwavering support for the Syrian nation, and elaborated on the measures Damascus has taken to fight against violence, extremism and religious strife.
The Iranian top diplomat is planned to leave Syria to Russia later in the day, while his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem is planned to accompany him in the forthcoming trip.
The Iranian and Syrian foreign ministers, along with their Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov are set to hold a trilateral meeting in Moscow to study how they can adopt coordinated stances on the Geneva 2 talks.
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.