Iran Participates in Syria Conference in Vienna, Austria

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is set to take part in an upcoming conference in Vienna, Austria, aimed at exploring ways to end over four years of deadly violence in Syria.

“Based on invitation for the Islamic Republic of Iran to participate in this summit, the foreign minister will be present in Vienna at the head of a high-ranking political delegation for talks on the situation in Syria,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham announced.

The Iranian delegates will also hold talks with their Russian and European counterparts on other issues of regional and international significance, Afkham added.

The peace conference is officially scheduled to be held on Friday (October 30), but diplomatic sources say a number of preparatory meetings would be held on the eve of the international event.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, US Secretary of State John Kerry as well as several top European and Arab diplomats will also be present in the discussions.

On Tuesday (October 27), Zarif also held a phone conversation with Lavrov, where the two sides emphasized the need to take all key regional players on board to promote an intra-Syrian dialog and help settle the crisis that has reportedly claimed over 250,000 lives in the Arab nation so far.

Respecting the territorial integrity and national unity of Syria should be top on the agenda of the Syria talks, said Zarif, adding, “Non-interference in the internal affairs of Syria and combating terrorism and extremism,” must also be among common objectives of all participants in the negotiations if they really want to address the crisis in the Middle Eastern state.

The top Iranian diplomat further emphasized that the Islamic Republic has attended the negotiations to work for a solution to the conflict in Syria and hopes all others participants “are here for the same reason.”

Zarif and Lavrov had already discussed the crisis in Syria twice on the phone earlier following a meeting between foreign ministers of Russia, the US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey on the issue in Vienna on October 23.

Elsewhere in her remarks, Afkham said it is possible that the Iranian and American delegations would sit down for talks on the implementation of the July nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 on the sidelines of the Syria conference.

*Photo Credit: Tehran Times

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