Iran must participate in Syria Talks: Russia

June 23rd, 2012 - 9:18 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, June 23 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Dismissing the US and British objections to Iran’s participation in an international conference on Syria, Russia has said it should take part in it.

“We are convinced that Iran should participate in that conference,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.

The US and Britain claim that Iran cannot be invited because “it is misbehaving,” he added.

“When the Americans had to ensure additional security for their troops in Iraq and Afghanistan they had no problem talking directly to Iran,” Lavrov said.

He added that it was crucial to prevent bloodshed in Syria by accepting the required makeup of conference participants.

The international conference on Syria is to be held in Geneva June 30.

Russia has said the conference should include all the permanent members of the UN Security Council, Syria’s neighbours (Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon), as well as key players in the region (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran) and international organisations (League of Arab States, European Union).

According to UN estimates, about 12,000 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of a popular uprising against President Bashar Al Assad in March 2011.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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