TASS – Iran is present in Syria at the invitation of its lawful authorities, but there is space for work in this issue. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who took part in the negotiations between Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and United States National Security Advisor John Bolton, told TASS about it on Thursday.
“We treat with great respect Iran’s steps to provide its own security and actions, including on Syria at the invitation of this country’s lawful government. However, this does not mean that there are no prospects or space for further work in this sphere,” the deputy foreign minister noted.
He added that the issue of Iran’s presence in Syria was discussed in the broader context of the situation in the Middle East and in Syria. “We’ve got many inconsistencies with the Americans in this area,” the senior diplomat noted. “Approaches are directly opposite in some cases, but here as well, which is important, there are grounds for continuing dialogue regarding Syria.”
Ryabkov reiterated that Russia is working with Iran on Syria in the Astana format. “In the near future, new contacts will take place, including on the Geneva platform, which we regard as an important component of greater work. Sochi and Astana cannot replace Geneva; these are independent venues, and all these tracks complement each other. We presume that Tehran has similar views on it,” the Russian deputy foreign minister concluded.