Russia to push for Iran’s participation in Syria conference

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow will continue to push for Iran’s participation in the upcoming international conference on Syria despite opposition from some Western states.

During a Thursday press conference, the Russian foreign minister promised that his country will keep pressing to include all influential parties, including Iran, in the forthcoming talks which are expected to be held in Geneva.

“At the current stage our partners have been quite outspoken and critical about Iran’s participation,” Lavrov said before adding, “We think they are mistaken.”

On Wednesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov pointed to the United States’ opposition to inviting the Islamic Republic to the Syria conference and said that Iran’s absence in the Geneva 1 talks last summer “was a mistake and it should not be repeated.”

Bogdanov’s remarks followed a trilateral meeting in Geneva among UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi; Russian deputy foreign ministers, Gennady Gatilov and Bogdanov; and US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman.

After the preparatory talks, Brahimi told reporters that the senior diplomats had failed to set a date for the Geneva 2 talks but expressed hope that the conference would convene in July.

Also late last month, Lavrov had stressed the necessity of Tehran’s presence in the upcoming Geneva talks, saying, “The issue of Iran is key for us. Iran, without question, is one of the most important nations.”

Foreign-sponsored militancy in Syria, which erupted in March 2011, has claimed the lives of many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel.

By Press TV


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