UN-Arab League envoy: Iran 'necessary' at Syria peace talks
Published Saturday 26/10/2013 (updated) 27/10/2013 19:59
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) sits with International
Peace envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi during a joint press conference in
Tehran on Oct. 26, 2013 (AFP/Atta Kenare)
TEHRAN (AFP) - The UN-Arab League envoy to war-torn Syria said Saturday in Tehran that Iran's participation in international peace talks on the conflict was "necessary," Mehr news agency reported.
"We think the participation of Iran at Geneva 2 is natural and necessary," Lakhdar Brahimi said at a joint press conference after talks with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
But he stressed that no invitations have yet been sent out for the proposed international peace conference, which the United Nations hopes to organize for late November.
Zarif, whose country is a top ally of the embattled Damascus regime, said that "if Iran is invited to take part in Geneva 2, we will be there to help find a diplomatic solution."
Brahimi is on a regional tour to drum up support in preparation for the conference, which has already been postponed several times.
He has already visited Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar to try to muster support for the talks on ending the 31-month conflict in Syria.
But prospects for the initiative appear dim as the fractured Syrian opposition has yet to decide whether to attend and as President Bashar al-Assad has said the "factors are not yet in place" for a conference.
The conflict has killed more than 115,000 people since its outbreak in March 2011, when a government crackdown on peaceful protests escalated into civil war.