Russia urges Iran presence in next round of Vienna talks on Syria deadlock
Russia has emphasized the need for the participation of Iran in the next round of the international peace talks in Vienna, Austria, which are aimed at finding a solution to the deadly crisis gripping Syria.
In a Thursday phone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov underlined the Islamic Republic’s fundamental role in the diplomatic efforts to end over four years of violence in Syria, calling for Iran’s presence in the upcoming Vienna summit, IRNA reported.
During the talks, the two senior diplomats also exchanged views on ways to facilitate intra-Syrian dialog on the crisis free from foreign meddling, stressing the necessity for various Syrian groups to take part in such national negotiations.
Amir-Abdollahian and Bogdanov also discussed the chaotic situation in Yemen, which has been under Saudi military strikes since late March, saying urgent measures should be taken to resolve the Yemeni and Syrian crises.
The first round of the talks on Syria was held in the Austrian capital of Vienna on October 30. Senior diplomats from a number of countries, including Iran, as well as envoys from the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) were present in the event.
The participants agreed on respecting Syria’s national unity and sovereignty as well as eradicating the terrorist groups operating in the Arab country. However, they remained at loggerheads over the role President Bashar al-Assad would play in Syria’s political process.
While certain Western and non-Western countries insist that Assad cannot be part of any future government in Syria, Iran and Russia say only Syrian people are to decide about such internal Syrian issues.
It was the first time that the Islamic Republic attended the talks on Syria. Two previous conferences, known as Geneva I and Geneva II, failed to achieve anything in terms of resolving the conflict in the Arab state.
While no specific date has been announced for a new round of talks, France has said the second round of the discussions in Vienna would be held in the Austrian capital in two weeks’ time.
The violence in Syria has reportedly claimed over 250,000 lives since 2011 and contributed to the worst refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.