Geneva 2 without Iran Would be Profane: Lavrov
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov supported the UN decision to invite Iran to the Geneva 2 peace conference on Syria. Iran accepted the invitation, saying it will attend the event without any preconditions.
Lavrov spoke in favor of Iran’s participation in the Geneva 2 peace talks, while talking at a press conference in Moscow on Monday.
"Around 40 countries have been invited to the conference, including Australia, Mexico, Korea, Brazil, India, Indonesia,” Lavrov observed. “If Iran were not on the list, that would seem profane.”
It was announced on Sunday, that UN chief Ban Ki-moon had invited Iran to take part in the Geneva 2 peace talks on Syria, scheduled to take place on January 22.
The decision was not welcomed by the Syrian opposition, which threatened to boycott the talks if Tehran participates, RT reported.
“The Syrian Coalition announces that they will withdraw their attendance in Geneva 2 unless Ban Ki-moon retracts Iran's invitation," Reuters reported, citing Syrian National Coalition spokesman Louay Safi’s statement on Twitter.
Lavrov described the opposition’s statement as “capricious” and proof that it’s not genuinely interested in resolving the Syrian crisis.
“If one starts being so capricious… The government agrees without any conditions to participate in the talks, to which countries which directly provide the opposition with funding and weapons, including those not moderate at all, have long been invited. So what should it do, demand that those countries withdraw?” Lavrov asked. “Negotiations are about bringing to one table not those who you like, but those upon whom solving the problem depends.”
Iran announced Monday it will attend the peace talks, accepting an invitation from Ban Ki-Moon that dropped a precondition previously put forward for Tehran’s participation.