Zarif Will Attend Syria Peace Talks in Vienna
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham announced on Wednesday that 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.
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, but diplomatic sources say a number of preparatory meetings would be held on the eve of the international event.
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, Zarif held a phone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei 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.
Zarif and Lavrov had already discussed the crisis in Syria twice on the phone earlier this week following a meeting between foreign ministers of Russia, the US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey on the issue in Vienna on October 23.
Two conferences were previously held in an attempt to resolve the Syrian crisis in the Swiss city of Geneva, one in 2012 and the other in 2014. However, both events ended in failure amid the absence of Iran, an important regional player.
Iran was not invited to the first one, and while the country primarily received an invitation to take part in the second Geneva conference, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon later rescinded the invitation under pressure from the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the foreign-backed Syrian opposition.
The Islamic Republic has on numerous occasions insisted that a political solution is the only way out of the chaotic situation plaguing Syria.
Tehran has drawn up a four-point peace plan on the Syrian crisis, which calls for a national unity government, a ceasefire, fighting terrorism and constitutional reforms in the violence-torn Arab nation, according to Zarif.
‘Possible talks on JCPOA’
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.
On July 14, Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany – finalized the text of an agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Vienna; Press TV reported.