A high-ranking Russian official says the internationally brokered Syrian peace talks next month will be impossible without the participation of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
On Wednesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov described as successful the first UN-backed peace conference on Syria, which was held in the Swiss city of Geneva in June 2012, stressing that no concrete step concerning the resolution of the Syrian crisis could be taken in the upcoming Geneva II conference if Iran is not invited to the event, IRNA reported.
He added that certain Western countries oppose Tehran’s participation in the Syria peace conference, and are trying to impose their position on others.
On Monday, Chairman of Russia’s State Duma Committee for International Affairs, Alexei Pushkov, stated that the long-awaited international conference aimed at achieving a political solution to the crisis in Syria will be incomplete without Iran.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also said on Monday that Iran should be invited to the peace conference on Syria.
“Iran can play a very important role. It’s a very important regional power. Therefore, logically speaking, and practically and realistically, they should be a part of this meeting,” Ban said at a news conference at the UN Headquarters in New York.
On December 21, Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi stressed the necessity of Iran’s participation in the upcoming peace conference on the ongoing crisis in his country.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said a day earlier that Iran should be invited to the Geneva II talks, emphasizing that the Syrian crisis could not be settled without Iran’s engagement.
On December 20, UN-Arab League Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi told media that Iran’s participation in the Syria peace conference has not been decided yet due to the US opposition.
On November 25, the UN set January 22, 2014, as the date for the talks.
The conference is scheduled to be held in Switzerland in two parts. On January 22, the opening session of the event will be in the Swiss city of Montreux and then it will be moved to the UN office in Geneva on January 24.
Syria has been gripped by a deadly crisis since 2011. Reports indicate that the Western powers and their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – are supporting the militants operating inside the country.
According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the violence.
By Press TV
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