Iran to join Syria talks without preconditions: Official

Iran is ready to participate in the next round of talks in the Swiss city of Geneva on the ongoing Syrian crisis only if it is invited to the event without any preconditions, a top Iranian official says.

“The exact date for the next round of Geneva conference has not been fixed yet. Nevertheless, we believe that (the United States of) America and other parties involved in Syria’s issue should be realistic in order for the Geneva talks to yield results,” Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Monday.

He added that Iran has always stressed the need for dialogue and diplomacy as the only solution to the Syrian conflict.

The Iranian diplomat underlined that the Syrian crisis cannot be resolved through foreign threats and pressure, adding the opposition groups that represent the Syrian people in reality should attend the Geneva conference alongside representatives from the Syrian government.

“This has not happened so far, and the opposition groups that took part in the Geneva conference in the name of the Syrian people hardly represent 3 percent of the country’s population,” Amir-Abdollahian said.

The second round of talks between delegations representing the Syrian government and the foreign-backed opposition groups in Geneva deadlocked on February 15 with both sides sticking to their positions. No new date was set for the two sides to resume the third round of talks.

During the second round of talks, the Syrian delegation said fighting terrorism should be the top priority while the opposition insisted that the formation of a transitional government and resignation of President Bashar al-Assad must come first.

Damascus strongly rejects the demand, saying only the Syrian people can decide the issue.

The talks came 10 days after the first round of negotiations ended without any positive results.

Syria has been the scene of deadly violence since March 2011. Over 130,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the crisis.

According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

By Press TV


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