Iran will “inevitably” become part of attempts to end Syria’s crisis, Russia’s foreign minister said Thursday, as Moscow strongly urged the West to invite Tehran to participate in next week’s peace conference.
Sergey Lavrov met with Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif, and they were later joined by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem. Lavrov will also have a separate meeting with al-Moallem on Friday.
Iran “must be and inevitably will become part of complex efforts to settle the Syrian problem,” Lavrov said.
He reaffirmed Moscow’s view that Tehran must be allowed to join the Syria conference, dubbed Geneva 2, which opens Wednesday in Montreux, Switzerland.
Later in the day, Zarif met with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who hailed the Iranian leadership for the success of last November’s agreement that commits Tehran to curbing its nuclear program in exchange for international sanctions relief. Putin also called for boosting Russian-Iranian trade.
Lavrov said Russia trusts U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who sends out invitations to the peace conference, as a “man who understands the realities of the region and is aware of his responsibility for the success of the Geneva 2” conference.
Lavrov insisted the talks in Moscow between him and his counterparts from Iran and Syria “have no hidden agenda” and share the goals of settling the Syrian conflict set by the United Nations.
“Russia, the Syrian people and Iran are interested in uprooting terrorism on Syrian territory,” he said at a news conference.
Lavrov said the launch of the Syrian peace conference should mark the beginning of a long negotiation process between the Syrian parties.
The Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Tehran is ready to attend the conference in case it is invited.
Source: Al Manar