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Iran participation in Geneva II conference still undecided

News | 15.01.2014 | 06:02

Slightly more than a week to go until the international conference on Syria in Montreux (Switzerland) that is scheduled for January 22, there is still no certainly concerning Iranian delegation’s participation in it. Thus, the United States insists that Tehran should not be invited to the forum that is intended to launch the political settlement process. This has been confirmed, in particular, by Marie Harf, deputy spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of State. According to her, Secretary of State John Kerry had not invited Iran to attend the Geneva II conference when he was speaking at a news conference in Paris on Monday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the UN and League of Arab States Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi. She stressed that the U.S. position on Iran’s possible participation in the conference had not changed. “Iran would need to publicly accept the Geneva I communiquй in order to be considered for participation at the ministerial level.” Geneva I was a meeting of the Action Group for Syria with the participation of Russia and the United States that was held on June 30, 2012. “We’ve also spoken in the last week about Iran possibly doing some things that would make the international community look more favourably on their participation in some way, but we have no indication they’re willing to do any of those things,” she said. The UN officials have other views. Thus, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon believes that the presence of Iranian representatives would be useful for the peace conference on Syria and is ready to extend an official invitation to Iran as soon as Russia and the United States agree on Iran’s participation in the forum. UN Secretary-General’s spokesman Martin Nesirky said that Lakhdar Brahimi also supported the idea to invite Iran to the conference. “We have consistently stated that Iran’s presence at these talks will be helpful,” Nesirky said. According to him, the Islamic Republic of Iran is “a regional power, capable of influencing the Syrian conflict settlement.” “The countries - initiators (of Geneva II), in other words, the United States and Russia, have discussed the issue of the participation of the Islamic Republic of Iran. If they find a formula that would make Iran’s participation possible, the invitation letter will be extended,” Nesirky said.

The long-sought international peace conference on Syria is set to begin on 22 January with a one-day meeting in the Swiss town of Montreux, the United Nations had stated previously. The conference, originally scheduled to take place in Geneva, will be held in two parts, with the opening session in Montreux, and, after a day’s break, moving on 24 January to the world body’s headquarters in Geneva. The conference will bring the Syrian government and the opposition to a negotiating table for the first time since the conflict started in March 2011.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that all influential players in the region, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, should be invited to the conference. This issue will be most likely discussed in the coming days when the Iranian and Syrian Foreign Ministers, Javad Zarif and Walid Muallem, will come to Moscow for talks with Lavrov. The visits will take place on January 16 and 17, respectively.

Among the important regional players is also Lebanon, which, according to Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour, attaches major importance to Iran’s participation in the Geneva II conference, taking into account the weighty role Iran plays in the Middle East. He stressed the similarity of the positions of Beirut and Tehran on the Syrian conflict that “negatively affects the situation in the whole region.” According to Mansour, the spread of terrorism is the largest threat and it has already affected Lebanon.

On Sunday, Zarif reiterated Iran’s stance. He stated that Iran would participate in Geneva II if it “receives an invitations without any preconditions” regarding its presence. “We support any initiative, aimed at stopping the conflict in Syria and believe that a mechanism for a political settlement of the crisis should be worked out in Geneva,” said the Iranian foreign minister. “The best way that would make it possible to curb terrorism and religious fanaticism is to give the Syrians an opportunity to take a free vote at elections,” Zarif stressed.


Tags: UN Iran Russia Zarif

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Aeroflot AFISMA African Union Africom AIIB AIPAC Al Qaeda Al Shabaab Al-Jazeera ALBA Amnesty International Anonymous Ansar Allah APEC Arab League ASEAN ATAKA Atomstroyexport Bank for International Settlements Bank of America Barclays Basel Committee BBC Bilderberg Club Black Bloc BlackRock Blackwater BND Boco Haram BP BRICS CARICOM CELAC Center for Responsive Politics CEPAL Chatham House Chevron CIA CICA CIS Citigroup CNN Committee of 147 Committee of 300 Council of Europe Council on Foreign Relations Crescent Crescent Petroleum CSTO Customs Union CyberBerkut DARPA Davos DEA Defense Intelligence Agency DIA Dragon Family E.ON Eager Lion ECOWAS EDA ELNET Enbridge Pipelines ETA EU EULEX EurAsEc Eurasian Union European Commission European Court of Human Rights European Union Exxon Mobil Facebook FAO FARC FATAH FBI FDA Federal Reserve FIFA Financial Action Task Force Financial Stability Board Fitch FIVE EYES Franklin Templeton Freedom House FRS FSB FTA FUEN G-4 G20 G7 G8 GATA Gazprom GCHQ GECF Gladio Glonass Goldman Sachs Google Green Group Greenpeace GUAM Guardian Gulf Cooperation Council Hague Tribunal HAMAS Heritage Foundation Hezbollah Hizb ut-Tahrir Hollywood HSBC Human Rights Watch IAEA IEA IHRC IMF International Criminal Court Interpol IOC ISAF Islamic jihad Islamic Revolution Guards Corps ITERA Jamestown Jobbik JP Morgan Jundullah KFOR KLA Ku Klux Klan Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Lukoil Massachusetts Institute of Technology Mercosur Microsoft Missile defense Missile Defense Agency Monsanto Moody's Morgan Stanley Mossad Most-Favoured Nation Mujahedin-e Khalq Muslim Brotherhood Nabucco NAFTA Naftogaz NASA Nation of Islam National Security Agency NATO NDAA NDI NED Non-aligned Movement NORAD Nord Stream NORTHCOM Northern Distribution Network NSA OECD Oerlikon OIC OPCW OPEC Open Government Partnership Organization of American States OSCE OTW movement OUN / UPA PACE PACOM Pan-Europa movement Pegida Pentagon PJAK PKK Podemos PRISM PYD Red Cross Renova Republican Party Rosatom Roscosmos Rosneft Rosoboronexport Ruhrgas RusAl RWE SABSA Scientology Shanghai Cooperation Organization Shell Siemens South Stream Southern Command Standard & Poor's Statoil Strategic Nuclear Forces Stratfor SWF SWIFT Syrian National Council SYRIZA Taliban Tamarod TAPI TeleSur TNK-BP Total Trans-Pacific Partnership Transneft TTIP TTP Turkish Stream Twitter UN UN International Court UNASUR UNESCO UNICEF USAID Valdai Club Visegrad Group Volkswagen Wall Street Westinghouse WHO Wikileaks World Bank WTO Yukos “Mass Atrocity Response Operations”

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