Russia to discuss Syria with Iran

June 12th, 2012 - 3:10 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, June 12 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Iran June 13 to discuss his country’s proposal for convening an international conference on Syria, the foreign ministry said.

“We proceed from the fact that Iran should be among its participants, along with countries neighbouring with Syria and other states that have influence on Syrian sides,” the ministry’s press office said.

“Without Iran’s participation, the possibilities of constructive international influence on Syria will not be used in full,” it said.

At least 9,000 people have been killed in clashes between the government and opposition forces in Syria since the start of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad last year, according to UN estimates.

The US has rejected the idea of Iran’s participation in the Syrian crisis settlement.

Moscow believes an international conference on Syria should be held under the aegis of the UN and should bring together the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Syria’s neighbours — Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, and also Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as well as the League of Arab States and the European Union.

In the efforts to settle the Syrian crisis, “the most topical task that remains today is to assist the fulfilment of the plan proposed by UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan and approved by the UN Security Council and remove problems impeding these efforts”, the press office said.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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