Russia asks for Iran`s presence at Geneva II Conference on Syria
He added, `This issue is not related to the Syrians alone, as there are a number of foreign players involved at that crisis as well, and therefore, Iran`s presence at that conference is of key importance for us.`
The Russian foreign minister said, `We emphasize that Iran must participate at the International Conference on Syria, as the entire countries with influence on involved Syrian groups in that crisis should also be present at that conference.`
The Russian top diplomat added, `In that list Iran is the topmost country.`
He meanwhile referred to the European Union`s decision for lifting the arms sanctions for forwarding weapons for the Syrian dissident groups as an illegal move, saying, `In accordance with the United Nations ban on weapons trade, buying and selling of arms can only be among the governments.
Saying that forwarding weapons to the Syrian dissidents would only lead to further intensification of the tension in that country, he reiterated, `Presently a combination of moves aimed at disturbing the process of the actions made by the International Conference on Syria are taking place.`
Russia`s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, too, on Tuesday supported the idea of Iran`s presence at the International Conference on Syria, arguing that not inviting Iran to Geneva II Conference would be a grave mistake.
He added, `The huge opportunities that Iran`s presence at this conference would present should not be ignored.`
He expressed fear lest the disagreements over the combination of the participating countries at Geneva II Conference would eventually lead to its cancellation, or to its long delayed convening.
Ryabkov said that setting a very late and illogical time for holding that conference would be unacceptable, just as the absence of Iran at it would be out of question.
The Russian deputy foreign minister said that he has serious doubts that the Geneva II Conference would be held in upcoming July, saying, `The pretexts for not inviting Iran to that conference are big mistakes.`
In related news, all Syrian groups and the countries involved in the crisis in Syria should be invited to the international talks to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyyed Abbas Araqchi underscored.
`What can guarantee the success of the Geneva II conference would be its comprehensiveness,` Araqchi said, addressing a press conference in Tehran on Tuesday.
`All countries and sides who can be influential and help as well as the Syrian government and the real opposition should be invited so that the Geneva conference will be turned into a place for reaching a fair political solution for the Syrian people,` he added.
On May 7, Russia and the United States agreed in Moscow to convene an international conference on Syria, which will serve as a follow-up to an earlier Geneva meeting held in June 2012.
Syria`s foreign-backed opposition group, known as the National Coalition, is holding negotiations on whether to attend the `Geneva II` meeting. The group is also scrambling to choose a leadership in an effort to save its credibility ahead of the conference.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country.
The US and its western and regional allies have long sought to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his ruling system. Media reports said that the Syrian rebels and terrorist groups have received significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, a crime paid for by the Persian Gulf Arab states and coordinated by the United States.
The US daily, Washington Post, reported in May that the Syrian rebels and terrorist groups battling Assad`s government have received significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, a crime paid for by the Persian Gulf Arab states and coordinated by the United States.
The newspaper, quoting opposition activists and US and foreign officials, reported that the Obama administration officials have emphasized that the administration has expanded contacts with opposition military forces to provide the Persian Gulf nations with assessments of rebel credibility and command-and-control infrastructure.
Opposition activists who several months ago said the rebels were running out of ammunition said in May that the flow of weapons - most bought on the black market in neighboring countries or from elements of the Syrian military in the past - has significantly increased after a decision by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Persian Gulf states to provide millions of dollars in funding each month.