Deputy FM: US failed in achieving desirable objective in Geneva 2

A militant is seen clashing with Syrian government forces in the Salaheddin neighborhood of Syria’s Aleppo on December 11, 2013.

Tehran, Jan 31, IRNA – Deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs referred to US failure in achieving desirable objectives from Geneva II Conference, said that America’s logic was based on imposing pressure over opponents, which did not bear fruit there.

Hossein Amir Abdollahian made the comment in a TV interview Thursday night on Middle East developments and results of Geneva 2 Peace Conference on Syria, reiterated, “It was clear for the analysts that the Geneva 2 conference would not be a successful one, because the choice of the combination of the dissident groups was not a precise choice.”

He said that a number of dissident groups announced they would not participate in the conference before it began due to their assumptions about the future of Syria.

“The Americans tried to enter the circle of the Syrian dissident groups in a bid to urge them to yield to their ideas in that conference, but they failed in that effort, as well,” he said.

The Iranian deputy foreign minister’s comments were made as the fourth day of the Geneva 2 peace negotiations were halted earlier than scheduled following a fierce exchange of accusations from both the opposition and the Syrian government over the alleged resumption of US military aid to the rebels.

The talks were cut short by the UN-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi following the morning session when the opposition delegation rejected an official complaint note presented by the Syrian government delegation criticizing the resumption of US aid.

“We believe this is not the best present to the Geneva conference,” said Faisal al-Mikdad, Syria’s deputy foreign minister, calling the American decision “another manifestation” of US support for “terrorist groups” in Syria.

“This proves again that the United States is not interested in the success of this process, and we believe the US has to desist and stop its claims that it is interested in the success of this conference,” he told reporters following the meeting.

The statement of condemnation said that the US, by choosing to arm rebels, made a “provocative decision” in violation of the Security Council resolution Number 1371, as weapons supplied will end up in the hands of extremists such as al-Nusra Front and the Islamic Front. The statement noted that the timing of this decision was truly surprising, as it serves “as a direct attempt to obstruct any political solution in Syria.”

On Monday, Reuters reported that “moderate” Syrian rebel factions are being armed by the United States after the US Congress secretly approved the measures. Weapons which allegedly reach Syria via Jordan include a variety of small arms, and are believed to include anti-tank rockets and shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles.

On Monday, the US had rejected arming the rebels, saying that “any notion that we support terrorists is ludicrous.”

“The Assad regime is a magnet for terrorists,” US State Department spokesman Edgar Vasquez said in a statement. “The regime’s brutality is the source of the violent extremism in Syria today. We support the moderate political and military opposition who are fighting for the freedom and dignity of all the Syrian people.”

Instead, Vasquez blamed the Assad government of undermining the talks, saying the document “shows that the regime is evading the core purpose of the Geneva talks.”

The UN refused to comment on reports of the decision by the US Congress to approve the delivery of small arms to Syrian opposition, but Brahimi told the Itar-Tass news agency that he had not seen an official statement on the issue by Washington.

In the meantime, Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov said that arming the opposition translates into arming terrorists.

“New supplies of lethal and non-lethal weapons to the Syrian conflict area lay groundwork for supporting terrorists,” Lavrov told journalists in Brussels on Tuesday where Russia-European Union summit was being held.

Tuesday’s talks were supposed to focus on the transfer of power and providing aid to the city of Homs, but there was no progress toward resolving the key issue of whether President Bashar Assad should step down and transfer power to a transitional government.



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