Syria wants Iran present in Geneva talks: PM

Syria wants Iran present in Geneva talks: PM
Sat Dec 21, 2013 19:58:57

Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi says his country wants Iran to participate in the upcoming peace conference aimed at ending Syria’s deadly crisis.

“We urge Iran to be present at the meeting, because it is a key player … Iran's presence would be beneficial in resolving the Syria’s issue,” al-Halqi said Saturday.

The Syrian premier noted that foreign-sponsored Syrian opposition groups are still divided over their participation in the forthcoming conference on January 22 in the Swiss city of Montreux.

UN-Arab League Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi told media on Friday that Iran's participation at the Syria peace conference, scheduled for January 22 in the Swiss city of Montreux, near Geneva, had not been decided upon yet due to the US opposition.

"The US is still not convinced Iran's participation would be the right thing to do," Brahimi said, adding, however, that “Iran is not off the list for the moment."

However, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov on Friday stressed that Iran should be invited to the upcoming international peace talks, emphasizing that the Syrian crisis could not be settled without Iran engagement.

In a telephone conversation with Brahimi on Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called for focusing on Syrian-Syrian talks to resolve the crisis in the Arab country.


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