Iran’s FM Arrives in Munich to Attend Syria Talks & Munich Security Conference

Iran’s FM Arrives in Munich to Attend Syria Talks & Munich Security Conference
Thu Feb 11, 2016 13:29:46

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has arrived in Munich to participate in the meeting of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and the Munich Security Conference.

Zarif left the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Thursday, and is being accompanied by his Deputy for Arab-African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

The ISSG meeting, aimed at finding a solution to the nearly five years of conflict in Syria, is scheduled to be held in Munich later on Thursday.

German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier announced on Sunday that Zarif and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, who support opposing sides in the conflict in Syria, would take part in the ISSG session.

According to a statement by the German Foreign Ministry, apart from those of Iran and Saudi Arabia, diplomatic delegations from China, Egypt, France, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the UK, the US as well as the Arab League, the European Union and the United Nations will also attend the meeting.

The latest round of the talks between the Syrian government and the Saudi-backed Syrian opposition in the Swiss city of Geneva was adjourned last week. February 25 has been set as the date for the resumption of the talks.

Some analysts say the opposition refused to continue the negotiations after the Syrian army, backed by Russian air power, made significant gains against the Takfiri militant groups on several fronts in Syria.

Meanwhile, Iran has blamed the failure of the negotiations on the participation of terrorist groups.

“What created problems at the recent Syria meeting in Geneva was the lack of differentiation between the opposition and terrorists,” Amir-Abdollahian told the UN’s Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura in a Wednesday phone call.

The Iranian diplomat also said that the presence of “certain terrorist figures” at the negotiating table was “not constructive.”

Syria has been gripped by a foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The conflict has reportedly claimed the lives of over 260,000 people and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.

Meanwhile, the Munich Security Conference, which has been held annually since 1962, will be held in the capital of Germany’s state of Bavaria on February 12-14 this year.


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