Lavrov: No secret project over Geneva II conference

Lavrov: No secret project over Geneva II conference
Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:54:52

Russia is not hatching any secret project with Syria and Iran ahead of the peace conference in Switzerland next week, Russian Foreign Minister assured.

“We are talking today to Javad Zarif. Tomorrow we will talk to Walid Muallem. This does not imply any trilateral project. Our three countries don’t have any unique position on the Syrian crisis,” Lavrov said, speaking in Moscow with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif.

Lavrov assured that Russia’s interest in sponsoring the so-called Geneva 2 conference, which is to start on January 22, is to stop violence in Syria, preserve its territorial integrity, protect its ethnic and religious minorities and reach greater stability for the entire Middle East.

“These are exactly what the UN Security Council statements say, including the Resolution 2118. It’s exactly what the Geneva communiqué says,” he stressed.

He also reiterated Russia’s commitment towards seeing Iran as a main negotiator at the conference.

Zarif said that if Iran is invited by the UN Secretary General, it will attend.

“If we are invited, we will participate. If we are not, we will not participate,” he said.

Iran insists that it will not accept any special conditions on its participation in the talks.

Iranian participation remains one of the major ‘ifs’ on the issue. Tehran is undoubtedly viewed as one of the most effective parties in reviving peace and security in the region. It’s participation has been opposed by main sponsors of foreign-backed terrorist groups in Syria, including Western countries and Saudi regime.

Another question still looming is the participation of the Turkey-based Syrian political opposition. The Syrian National Coalition remains split on whether to come to Switzerland. Several times it made U-turns, announcing that it will participate at one time and rejecting involvement at another.


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