Tehran, Riyadh must be involved in Syria talks: Russia FM

Russia’s foreign minister has stressed the role of Iran and Saudi Arabia in efforts to end the Syria crisis, saying it will be a “great mistake” to exclude the two states from any future talks on the issue.

In a Monday interview with Russia’s ITAR-TASS news agency, Sergei Lavrov pointed to the election of Staffan de Mistura as the new UN envoy to Syria and said “chances are improving now for the resumption of the political process” aimed at ending the foreign-backed violence in the Arab state.

The top Russian diplomat also hailed de Mistura’s visit to Iran earlier this month as part of efforts to revive the stalled peace process, saying all Syria’s neighbors should participate in any future negotiations on the chaotic situation in the Middle Eastern country.

“We consider it to be a great mistake to exclude countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia from the list of negotiators,” Lavrov stated, adding, “All Syrian neighbors without exception should be represented at the negotiating table.”

Referring to the collapse of previous rounds of talks on Syria amid the absence of key regional powers, Lavrov said “the principle of inclusiveness should be applied not only to the Syrian participants in the process but also to external players.”

Syria has been grappling with a deadly crisis since March 2011. The violence fuelled by Takfiri groups has so far claimed the lives of nearly 200,000 people, according to reports.

In early 2014, two rounds of international talks were held in Switzerland in an effort to find a political solution to the turmoil in Syria. However, the Russian-US proposed negotiations, known as Geneva II, failed to bear fruit amid the obscene of influential regional players, particularly Iran.

By Press TV


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