Russia: Iran presence in Geneva talks ‘vital’

The Russian Foreign Ministry has renewed Moscow’s call for the participation of Iran in an international conference on Syria that is expected to be held in Geneva.

“This is a matter of principle because the composition of the conference should be balanced,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told the ITAR-TASS news agency on Wednesday.

Bogdanov acknowledged Washington’s opposition to inviting Iran to the peace conference, but insisted that Iran’s absence in the Geneva-1 talks last summer “was a mistake and it should not be repeated.”

“Iranians and other influential external players should be invited to the conference,” the diplomat stressed.

“The point is that two Syrian sides should negotiate and come to agreement and they should know that they are not abandoned, that there are sympathizing and supporting forces on both sides,” he added.

The remarks followed a trilateral meeting between UN envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, Russian Deputy Foreign Ministers Gennady Gatilov and Bogdanov, and US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman in Geneva.

By Al-Manar


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