Monday Dec 16, 201309:20 AM GMT
Iran to attend Geneva 2 event without preconditions
Director General for International Affairs at Iran’s Majlis Hossein Sheikholeslam
Director General for International Affairs at Iran’s Majlis Hossein Sheikholeslam
Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:16AM
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A top Iranian parliamentary official says Tehran will take part in the Geneva II Conference on the Syrian crisis, but will not accept any preconditions for its participation.

The Damascus government being invited to the conference indicates that the strategy of “imposing a military surrender” on the Syrian nation and government has failed, and that the crisis should be settled through political dialog, said Director General for International Affairs at Iran’s Majlis Hossein Sheikholeslam on Sunday.

High on the agenda of the talks should be ways to end violence, establish a ceasefire and halt death and destruction in Syria, said Sheikholeslam.

Following a ceasefire, he added, efforts should get underway to address the plight of refugees and all those that have suffered as a result of the Syria war.

He said Iran supports political dialog among Syrians if it takes place without foreign intervention immediately after a ceasefire is put in place.

The official referred to terrorist acts in Syria as one of the most significant challenges to the Geneva II talks, urging all regional and European countries as well as the US to stop backing foreign-sponsored terrorists in Syria.

The Geneva II conference, which will be a follow-up to an earlier one held in June 2012, had been proposed by Moscow and Washington on May 7, but was delayed for several months.

On November 25, however, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the long-delayed event will be held on January 22, 2014.

On December 5, Ban also stressed the necessity of inviting Iran to the Geneva II conference as Tehran

"Iran should be invited to this meeting (Geneva II). I and [UN-Arab League] Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi had made it clear in the past that Iran should be invited to this meeting,” he said.

Syria has been gripped by deadly crisis since March 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies - especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey - are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and a total of 7.8 million displaced due to the violence.

MFB/NN/HRB

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