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Iran’s participation Pivotal

Iran’s participation in Geneva Conference contributes to its success. The Islamic Republic of Iran has been a key player and a pivotal state on the regional and international arenas over the past three decades. So, it is illogical to exclude it from Geneva 2 Conference, because the US, Saudi Arabia and the armed groups do not want it to take part in the event. There is an absolutely apparent need for the participation of Iran in the conference, and foreign powers should not set preconditions for its participation.

The upcoming Geneva II conference on the Syria crisis will yield better results with the Islamic Republic of Iran’s participation, and its presence in it can pave the way for resolving the crisis in Syria. The United States and the foreign-backed opposition are against Iran’s participation in the negotiations, because they want to weaken its regional role, especially following the success of the Iranian diplomacy to strike a deal with the West on the Iranian nuclear file that preserves its right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The United States and its Western allies should support Tehran’s attendance in the event if they truly want the peace talks to be fruitful and if they truly want to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria. Iran’s participation will be fruitful because it is able to affect a settlement to the crisis in Syria as a prominent regional country.

If Iran attended or if it did not, Iran's position will not be affected as its regional position and international role have never been related to its presence or absence from Geneva 2. UN Secretary-General spokesperson, Martin Nesirky, announced that the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon sees that Iran’s participation in Geneva 2 conference on Syria is useful. The Holy See also called for the participation of all regional sides in the upcoming conference highlighting the importance of Iran’s participation in particular.

Tehran is ready to take part in the Geneva II talks if invited and without any preconditions. Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed the importance of Iran’s participation in Geneva 2 conference with no preconditions. Zarif affirmed that his country will continue exerting efforts to achieve stability in the region whether it's invited to the international conference on Syria or not.

Imposing any sort of preconditions for paving the ground for dialogue among the political parties in Syria will not help reaching a political solution to the crisis. Tehran rejects any preconditions on its participation in Geneva 2. Iran should be invited to the upcoming Syria talks without preconditions, because preconditions for Tehran’s involvement in the event are illogical and unconstructive.

Counterterrorism is expected to top the list of the conference's agenda after a common realization of the danger of terrorists' influx to Syria, having constituted a world terrorism network that threatens the security of the region and the whole world. For this reason, before inviting states such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, the US and the international community should ask these states to halt its political, media and military support for the armed terrorist groups which are committing atrocious massacres against Syrian people and their public and private properties.

K.Q.

Al-Zou'bi: What Syria Accepts and Rejects in Geneva II Talks is Subject to National Sovereignty

DAMASCUS,(ST)_Information minister  has said that respecting the national sovereignty and combating terrorism are the main conditions in any political process to solve the crisis in Syria.

 Omran al-Zou'bi, who was speaking on Thursday in an interview with the 'Talaqi' TV channel, clarified that what Syria accepts and rejects in the Geneva-2 talks is subject to the national sovereignty which must be respected by the international community.

"There is a serious international will to hold Geneva-2 conference," the minister said, asserting that the solution to the ongoing crisis will be Syrian and it is in the hands of the Syrian people themselves only.

He added that the Syrian leadership's decision to go to the Geneva-2  meeting is based on the Syrian people's interest." The main concern of the government is to prevent bloodshed, flush out terrorists and protect the state's institutions which the enemies want to destroy. "

"The Syrian leadership's choice for political solution is essential and not connected with the statement of the Geneva-1 meeting. The Geneva statement is clear and it goes without saying, but there have been attempts to misinterpret it," al-Zou'bi said.

Agendas

He confirmed that the opposition abroad is a mere tool in the US's hands and it moves according to the US will, adding that the agendas of the terrorist organizations operating in Syria are similar to that of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey.

"Most of these agendas belong to al-Qaeda and they cannot be part in the talks. Each organization, such as the "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant", has international and regional relations and it is an output of al-Qaeda thought. Its agendas are identical to that of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey ,"the minister said.

He made it clear that the appearance of the so-called the 'Islamic Front' was aiming to present the front as a moderate one but it failed due to its involvement in military and terrorist operations.

Al-Zou'bi cited that the Syrian leadership outlined a comprehensive national political project to deal with the crisis' repercussions, while the opposition has done nothing in this regard. 

Disputes

"The apposition abroad has personal and financial disputes and it has no national agenda," he said, adding: "There are clues and facts about the superpowers' intention to launch an aggression on Syria because of the defeat of the terrorist groups on the ground."

As for the national unity government, al-Zou'bi said that it will meet the Syrian people's aspirations and guarantees the country's sovereignty and independence.

"It is not allowed for anyone to consider that it is possible to disintegrate the structure of the Syrian Arab army and the national institute in a political process after Syria's steadfastness," the minister said, asserting that the Syrian state and army are fighting terrorism on behalf of the whole world.

Donations to armed groups 

He called on all countries to abide by the international resolutions related to combating terrorism, especially the UN resolution No.1373 which was issued after New York events.

"Some countries, such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and a number of Gulf states collect donations and send them to the armed groups in Syria without accountability," al-Zou'bi said.

He sees that the gunmen who surrendered themselves over to concerned authorities are not terrorists but they are misled.

"Currently, we are witnessing a political track entitled 'the Syrian state that has remained steadfast'," al-Zoubi said.

Concerning President Bashar al-Assad's candidacy to the next presidential election, the minister clarified that this matter is an internal matter and it is a personal decision of the president.

"We, as Syrians, want President Bashar al-Assad to be the republic's president after 2014."

Basma Qaddour 

Iran hopes Geneva II will yield positive results

MOSCOW- Iran hopes that the Geneva II Peace Conference on Syria will yield positive results, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said at talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday,according to ITAR TASS.

Iran will refuse to take part in the Geneva II Peace Conference if preconditions are unacceptable, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif after talks with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Thursday.

“If Iran is invited to take part in the conference, it will accept such invitation,” Zarif said, adding “Our country’s honor don’t allow us to agree with preconditions, which will differ from those, which are set forth by other participants in the conference.”

“If we’re invited, we’ll take part in the conference. If not, we won’t,” he said.

“The country’s fate can be only decided by the people. Any external forces are trying to impose their conditions on the Syrian people what can lead to confrontation because the Syrian people come against such move,” the minister said.

M.D

Al-Moallem, Lavrov to Hold Talks on Preparations for Geneva II Conference

MOSCOW- Foreign Minister Walid al-Mouallem and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov will hold talks in Moscow on Friday.

 A Russian Foreign Ministry statement announced on Thursday that the meeting will focus on preparations for the Geneva II international conference on Syria, which should be convened in the Swiss city of Montreux on January 22nd and on problems facing the implementation of the UN resolution on the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria.

"The conference is intended to ensure the launch of an inter-Syrian dialogue involving representative delegations of the SAR government and the (opposition) based on the Geneva communique of June 30, 2012 without preconditions," it said, according to the Voice of Russia.

"The decisions to be made within the framework of the upcoming Geneva process should be a product of mutual consent of the Syrian parties and cannot be imposed on the negotiating parties by anyone," it said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry intends "to work intensely together with US partners and the UN so that the SAR government and the opposition take a number of practical humanitarian steps in the interests of forming a favorable atmosphere in the run-up to the conference," it said.

"Problems with the implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 2118 and Russia's practical assistance in implementing the plan of eliminating the Syrian chemical weapons will also be discussed at negotiations with Moallem in Moscow, with an emphasis placed on overcoming the difficulties existing in this process," the ministry said.

The agenda of the negotiations traditionally contains relevant aspects of Russian-Syrian bilateral relations and the provision of Russian humanitarian aid to the Syrian people who suffer the repercussions of terrorism.

H. Mustafa

Russia expects all parties that can contribute to Syria settlement to take part in Geneva-2 - Putin

Russia expects all parties that could make a positive contribution to the settlement of the crisis in Syria to take part in the upcoming Geneva-2 international conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. "We'll be doing all we can so that the conference helps arrange dialogue and to stop the senseless bloodshed," Putin said at a ceremony of accepting credentials from the ambassadors of a number of countries on Thursday.

"The international community's efforts to prepare the conference on Syria should be actively supported," he said.

"We expect all parties capable of making a positive contribution to the crisis  settlement to take part in" the conference, he said,according to Voice of Russia, RIA, TASS, Interfax.

M.D