Deputy Syrian FM arrives in Tehran for consultations on Geneva 2

Tehran, Jan 7, IRNA – Deputy Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad arrived in Tehran late Monday night for consultations with Iranian officials on Syrian developments and the upcoming Geneva 2 International Peace Conference.

The Syrian diplomat is scheduled to meet the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif and Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Tuesday.

On the arrival of the Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad in Tehran later tonight (Monday), Amir-Abdollahian had earlier tonight said that the visit is aimed at consultations on the upcoming Geneva II International Conference on Syria.

The Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian made the comment on the sidelines of a commemoration service for the wife of the Palestinian ambassador that his Syrian counterpart’s visit will be aimed at consultations on Geneva 2 conference.

Reacting to the US Secretary of State Johan Kerry’s Sunday talks on Iran’s conditional presence in Geneva II at ministerial level, or unconditional lower level presence as observer, Amir-Abdollahian said, “In the absence of the influential sides in Geneva 2 that gathering will be no more than a TV show.”

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday started sending out invitations to Syria peace conference on January 22, but Iran was not on the first list, a UN spokesman said.

The US Secretary of State John Kerry and the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet on January 13 in a bid to decide on whether Iran should take part, said UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq.

“Iran was not among the first invitations,ˈ Haq said.

ˈUS Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet on January 13 and we very much hope they will reach agreement on Iranˈs participation,ˈ he added.

It was not known if the UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi would be at the January 13 meeting.

Russia has pressed for Iranˈs participation in the bid to end the 34-month-old conflict.

Ban has also spoken out in favor of Iranian involvement, but the United States and a few western governments have opposed a frontline place for Tehran at the meetings in Switzerland.

The January 22 meeting is to help implement a June 2012 Geneva declaration by the major powers, including Russia and the United States, says that a transitional government must be established in Syria.

The United States has said that Iran should not take part in the conference because it has refused to back up the Geneva declaration.



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