Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has underscored the need for Iran’s participation at the Geneva 2 international peace conference on the crisis in Syria.
In a Saturday interview with Russian TV network TVC, Lavrov called for the presence of Iran and Saudi Arabia as two key regional players, saying, “We believe this circle should be expanded, because Iran and Saudi Arabia were not present at the first conference last year.”
The Russian foreign minister also dismissed the Syrian opposition’s precondition to participate in the conference that President Bashar al-Assad must step down from power as unrealistic.
He argued that, apart from the emphasis for Assad’s removal, the so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC), which represents the opposition outside Syria, has offered no program for the Syrian nation.
Lavrov reiterated that Syria’s problems should be resolved by the Syrians people without any foreign intervention.
On May 7, Russia and the United States agreed in the Russian capital, Moscow, to convene an international conference on Syria, which will serve as a follow-up to an earlier Geneva meeting held in June 2012.
The date of the event has changed many times as the foreign-backed opposition remains divided over attending the talks.
The Syrian government has agreed to take part in the talks, but has rejected preconditions or any insistence on the departure of President Assad.
By Press TV
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