Top Advisor: Opposition Split Main Obstacle to Geneva II Conference

Top Advisor

The severe and widening differences among opposition forces in Syria is preventing declaration of truce for the start of peace talks in the Geneva II conference, a senior Iranian parliamentary advisor said.

“At present, the possibility of holding the Geneva II conference is more than any other time, but the main problem is that for any negotiations to be constructive, a ceasefire should be staged, otherwise, no negotiations can be held,” senior Advisor to the Iranian Parliament Speaker Hossein Sheikholeslam told FNA on Wednesday.

“And the problem is that the opposition front recognizes no one as its leader to declare truce and they are not in coordination with with each other as there are terrorists among them who enjoy killing people,” he added.

Iranian officials have repeatedly underlined that Tehran is in favor of negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition groups to create stability in the Middle Eastern country.

Last November, Iran hosted a meeting between the representatives of the Syrian government and opposition to encourage them to start talks to find a political solution to their problems. The National Dialogue Conference kicked off work in Tehran mid November with the motto of ‘No to Violence, Yes to Democracy”.

The meeting brought together almost 200 representatives of various Syrian ethnicities, political groups, minorities, the opposition, and state officials.

While in New York last month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani once again underlined that Tehran is ready to take part in the planned Geneva II conference on the Syrian crisis “without any preconditions”.

“If invited without any preconditions, Iran will participate in the Geneva II conference in order to help resolve the Syrian crisis,” President Rouhani said in a meeting with UN and Arab League Special Envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi in New York.

During the meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the 68th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Iranian president urged an immediate settlement to the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Brahimi, for his part, briefed the Iranian president on the latest developments in Syria and said he would like to see Tehran attend the upcoming Geneva II conference.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against the Syrian police, border guards, statesmen, army and civilians being reported across the country.

Thousands of people have been killed since terrorist and armed groups turned protest rallies into armed clashes.

The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.

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