Germany backs Iran’s participation in Syria talks

Germany is calling for Iran’s participation in the upcoming Geneva II conference, which is aimed at ending the nearly three-year conflict in Syria.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday that international mediators should try to involve Syria’s neighbors, including Iran.

Steinmeier made the remark following talks with his Swedish counterpart, Carl Bildt, in Berlin.

In December, the UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said that Iran’s participation in the international Syria conference faces opposition from the United States.

On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed the country’s key role “in the settlement of regional problems including the Syria issue,” and that Tehran “will spare no effort to solve the crisis in Syria.”

But he pointed out that Iran will never agree to any precondition for its presence in the Geneva II conference.  “In case of an official call to help resolve the crisis, we are prepared to officially and fully attend the meeting,” he added.

In a statement on Monday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reiterated his support for Iran’s participation in the upcoming Geneva II conference.

Ban said the final decision on Iran’s participation in the meeting will be made in a January 13 meeting between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The Geneva II 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 unrelenting violence since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the foreign-backed militancy.

By Press TV


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