Iran and Russia have underlined the need for promptly holding the upcoming Geneva talks to help find a political solution to the Syrian crisis despite opposition from the so-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC).
During a meeting between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mahmoud Reza Sajjadi in Moscow on Friday, the two sides exchanged views on the latest developments in Syria.
They called for holding the Geneva 2 conference as soon as possible, and expressed Tehran’s and Moscow’s strong opposition to foreign interference in Syria’s domestic affairs.
Ahmad Assi Jarba, the new SNC leader, said on July 7 that the foreign-backed opposition group would not attend the conference unless the militants make military advances on the ground first.
On July 5, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said that Moscow is strongly opposed to a repetition of the Libya scenario in Syria and believes that representatives of all Syrian parties, as well as neighboring countries and Iran, should attend the upcoming Geneva talks on the Syrian crisis.
On June 5, Bogdanov renewed Moscow’s call for Iran to be invited to the Geneva 2 talks.
Bogdanov acknowledged Washington’s opposition to inviting Iran to the peace conference but insisted that Iran’s absence in the Geneva 1 talks last summer “was a mistake and it should not be repeated.”