Syria talks will be incomplete without Iran

‘Syria talks incomplete without Iran’

Mon, 23 Dec 2013 21:38:34 GMT

A high-ranking Russian official has stressed the need for Iran’s presence in the internationally brokered peace talks between Syria’s warring sides next month, stressing that the event won’t be inclusive without the participation of the Islamic Republic.

“Iran should take part in Geneva II because the conference will be incomplete without it,” Chairman of Russia’s State Duma Committee for International Affairs, Alexei Pushkov, said at a news conference in Moscow on Monday.

He added that the Arab world is again viewing Russia as an influential partner and a potential stabilizing power that could prevent the region from growing exceedingly volatile in the wake of defective US foreign policy in the Middle East.

“Russia has a significant scope for activity following the crisis in America’s Middle and Central East policies, considered that we have a lot of backing – from China and countries in the region. Many nations have grown weary of US presence,” Pushkov stated.

On Saturday, Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi stressed the necessity of Iran’s participation in the upcoming peace conference on the ongoing crisis in his country.

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

UN-Arab League Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi told media on Friday that Iran’s participation in the Syria peace conference has not been decided yet due to the US opposition.

On November 25, the UN set January 22, 2014, as the date for the talks.

The conference is scheduled to be held in Switzerland in two parts. On January 22, the opening session of the event will be in the Swiss city of Montreux and then it will be moved to the UN office in Geneva on January 24.

Syria has been gripped by a deadly crisis since 2011. Reports indicate that Western powers and their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – are supporting the militants operating inside the country.

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

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