‘US weighing Iran presence in Geneva II conference’

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says Washington is considering Iran’s presence in the long-awaited international Geneva II conference on the Syria crisis.

“We continue to discuss with our allies and stakeholders whether Iran should participate,” Psaki told a news briefing on Thursday, going on, however, to repeat an earlier US condition for Iran’s participation in the talks.

“Our position remains the same, which is that any party [which] would be included in Geneva II must accept and publicly support the Geneva Communiqué,” the spokesperson added.

Psaki stated that should Iran meet the condition, the US would be “more open” to its participation in the talks.

The Geneva Communiqué, approved in 2012, calls for a transitional government in Syria.

On October 7, US State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said the US would agree to Iran’s participation in Geneva 2 talks if Tehran approved the Geneva Communiqué.

A day later, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham slammed the US move to set conditions for Iran’s presence in the conference.

“If our participation helps reaching a solution, it will be unacceptable to set conditions for inviting the Islamic Republic of Iran, and we accept no conditions,” Afkham said.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always considered achievement of political understanding on the basis of dialog and agreement among the Syrian parties as the sole solution to the catastrophic crisis in Syria, and is prepared to facilitate the process,” she added.

Psaki further noted that UN-Arab League Special Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed Iran’s presence in the Syria peace conference at their meeting in London on Monday.

On September 29, Brahimi said that it would be beneficial if Iran takes part in the Geneva II conference and there is the possibility of inviting the Islamic Republic.

In a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in New York on October 2, US Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also underscored Tehran’s decisive role in the settlement of the crisis in Syria, stressing the need for Iran’s presence in any international talks on Syria.

The Geneva II conference is seen as a chance to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis. The event has been delayed for months, but Moscow and Washington are now trying to fix a date for it.

By Press TV


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