Thu Jan 2, 2014 4:18PM
A view of Geneva conference on Syria held in June 2012 (file photo)
A view of Geneva conference on Syria held in June 2012 (file photo)

The Russian ambassador to Lebanon says Iran’s participation in the upcoming peace conference aimed at ending the crisis in Syria will be in everyone’s interest.

In a Thursday interview with Lebanese Al-Manar satellite television, Alexander Zasypkin said logic necessitates Tehran’s presence in the conference, known as Geneva II.

After several delays, the meeting is scheduled to open in the Swiss city of Montreux, near Geneva, on January 22. However, there are speculations that there might be another delay in the long-awaited conference as Syria’s foreign-backed opposition remains divided over attending the event.

Meanwhile, Iranian Ambassador to Beirut Ghazanfar Roknabadi also told Al-Manar that the Geneva II talks should focus on the peaceful settlement of the deadly turmoil which has been plaguing Syria since March 2011.

The Islamic Republic is prepared to support efforts to find a political solution to the Syria crisis if it is invited to the Geneva II meeting, added the Iranian envoy to Lebanon.

Russia, Syria, and the UN have, on many occasions, underlined the necessity for Tehran’s presence in the international meeting on Syria. The US and the so-called Syria opposition are against Iran’s participation in the negotiations.

In late December 2013, Syria Foreign Minister Walid al-Mullaem said Damascus is “committed to Iran joining in the peace conference,” stressing, “It is illogical that the United States or the so-called opposition exclude this country from the conference for political reasons.”

Tehran says it will not accept any preconditions to attend the Geneva II talks on the ongoing violence in Syria, which has so far claimed over 100, 000 lives and displaced millions, according to the United Nations.