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No agreement on main issues in Syria talks: Zarif

18 December 2015 13:49



Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says there “seems to be no agreement” on two major issues ahead of UN-brokered negotiations on the Syria conflict in New York.

Tehran has seen “no lists we can agree upon” of Syrian opposition groups that should be included in peace negotiations planned for January 1, 2016, he told the Associated Press.

“Card-carrying members of al-Qaeda do not satisfy the conditions that we set for members of the opposition,” he said.

“The (Syrian) opposition should be serious, and it should be inclusive,” the Iranian foreign minister added.

Zarif further said he didn’t know whether Friday talks in New York on Syria’s future would produce any tangible outcome. “We still don’t know,” he said.

Foreign ministers from 17 countries, including Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the US, as well as delegates from international organizations will sit at the negotiating table to work out a solution.

Russia’s FM Sergei Lavrov (center-R), US Secretary of State John Kerry (center) and foreign ministers from other countries attend a conference on the Syrian conflict in Vienna, November 14, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

On Wednesday, Zarif made it clear that any preconditions set by certain foreign parties about Syria’s political future would merely prolong the bloodshed in the Arab country.

Upon arrival in New York, the Iranian minister said it was up to the Syrian people to decide their own fate without the meddling of outside parties.

Zarif said Iran had decided to participate in the negotiations “to make sure the terrorist groups that have the blood of Syrians on their hands will gain no role in the Arab county’s future.”

Iran, he said, seeks a ceasefire and settlement of differences through dialog and the formation of a national unity government in the Arab country.

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