Iran could help with Syria during Geneva talks: Kerry

Iran could help with Syria during Geneva talks: Kerry
Sun Jan 5, 2014 10:57:50

US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that Iran could be helpful in finding a solution to the conflict in Syria on the sidelines of negotiations in Geneva later this month.

Kerry said on Sunday that it would be difficult to see how Iran could be a "ministerial partner" in the Geneva 2 talks slated to begin on January 22.

But, at a news conference during a visit to Israel, he held out the possibility - without elaborating - of Iran playing a constructive role on the sidelines even if it was not a formal participant.

It seems Kerry is softening the US officials’ previous stance towards Iran’s participation in the Geneva 2 conference on Syria.

Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov will decide on Iran’s participation in the long-awaited Syria peace conference in the coming days, said Martin Nesirky, spokesperson for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, on Saturday.

Nesirky said that the UN secretary general was sure that Iran’s participation “will have a positive impact on the result” of the conference on Syria, which is scheduled to open in Montreux, Switzerland, on January 22.

Tehran has said it would attend Geneva 2 without any preconditions if invited.

The Russian ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, recently said Iran’s participation in the upcoming peace conference aimed at ending the crisis in Syria will be in everyone’s interest.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011, when foreign-backed terrorists hijacked pro-reform protests of the Syrian nation.

According to reports, Western powers and their regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey - support the militants operating inside the country.


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