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Russia's top diplomat says Syria settlement requires Iran’s participation

May 23, 14:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian foreign minister made this statement in reply to a question about how he viewed US President Donald Trump’s latest remarks about Tehran

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© AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

MOSCOW, May 23. /TASS/. The settlement of the crisis in Syria requires the involvement of Iran in this process, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.

The Russian foreign minister made this statement in reply to a question about how he viewed US President Donald Trump’s latest remarks about Tehran.

As Lavrov said, the solution of problems in the Middle East and North Africa requires the participation of external actors "which influence the situation on the ground in one way or another."

"To a full extent, this also refers to Iran and to what has to be done to settle the Syrian crisis," Lavrov said.

"The International Syria Support Group (ISSG) focuses precisely on the principle of inclusiveness, the principle of involving all external actors, and Iran is in the nucleus of this group," the Russian foreign minister said.

"The Astana process is also based on the principle of inclusiveness, considering that Russia, Turkey and Iran have come up with an initiative of a direct inter-Syrian dialogue with the participation of the government and the armed opposition," Lavrov noted.

"In this trio, Turkey also acts as a representative of some Persian Gulf Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The ministers of these countries confirmed during their visit to Moscow that Turkey also represented their approaches at the Astana venue," the Russian foreign minister said.

"The fact that the Astana format and the decision on the ceasefire that was reached late last year against the guarantees of Russia, Turkey and Iran was approved at the UN Security Council demonstrates quite vividly the attitude of the international community to this situation," Lavrov said.

During his two-day visit to Saudi Arabia last weekend, the US president accused Iran of arms supplies to militants and also stated about Iran’s responsibility for the unstable situation in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and Syria.

According to the US president, all nations should work together to isolate Iran, until the Islamic Republic expresses its intention to be a partner for establishing peace.

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