Sunday Dec 22, 201304:34 PM GMT
Iran must attend Geneva II confab on Syria: Italy FM
Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) joins a press conference with his Italian counterpart, Emma Bonino, in Tehran on December 22, 2013.
Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) joins a press conference with his Italian counterpart, Emma Bonino, in Tehran on December 22, 2013.
Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:33PM
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Italy Foreign Minister Emma Bonino has underlined the need for Iran’s participation in the upcoming peace conference aimed at resolving the deadly crisis in Syria.

In a Sunday press conference with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Tehran, Bonino said her country wants Iran’s “effective” presence in the Syria conference, which is slated to be held on January 22 in the Swiss city of Montreux, near Geneva.

The Italian diplomat stated that all countries with enough influence to end the “tragedy” in the Arab country should take part in the conference, known as Geneva II.

Bonino emphasized that the Islamic Republic must play a “fundamental” role in resolving the foreign-backed turmoil in Syria.

On December 20, UN-Arab League Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said Iran’s presence in the Syria meeting had not been decided upon yet due to the US opposition.

On the same day, Russia Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov slammed Washington’s opposition to Iran’s presence in the international conference as illogical, saying Tehran’s involvement in the Geneva II talks would create the necessary political atmosphere to implement peace agreements.

During the Sunday news conference, Zarif, for his part, reaffirmed the Islamic Republic’s stance on the political settlement of Syria turmoil, which has been plaguing the Arab country since March 2011.

“We believe that the viewpoint, which prevents Iran from playing a positive role on Syria, is not based on realism and will not help the resolution of this issue,” noted the Iranian foreign minister.

Zarif also reaffirmed Tehran’s readiness for “constructive” and “effective” presence in the Geneva II talks in an effort to “find a political solution” to Syria crisis.

Earlier this month, the Iranian minister had said the Islamic Republic would partake in the international meeting if invited without preconditions.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the foreign-sponsored violence in the Arab country.

MKA/HGH/SS

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