MOSCOW, January 20. /ITAR-TASS/. If there is no Iran in the list of participants in the Geneva II Peace Conference “this will remind us of profanation”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
“The conference will be opened on January 22. It would be irresponsible to ignore the conference for those who will have a direct impact on the Syrian settlement,” the Russian minister said.
“We uphold the approach by the U.N. Secretary-General who sent invitations to all countries, including Iran,” he said.
He added that Russia would strive for the safest and quickest implementation of all phases of the operation to eliminate Syrian chemical weapons. “It is obvious that we’ll continue doing our best to make all stages for eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons safe,” the Russian minister said. He stressed that Russia was satisfied with the course of chemical weapons’ removal from Syria.
Sunday, January 19, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated that Iran and another nine states were sent additional invitations to the international meeting in Montreux that would begin the Geneva II conference on Syrian peaceful settlement. Later, the leadership of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces declared that they refuse to take part in the forum. “We officially notified Lakhdar Brahimi (U.N. / LAS Special Envoy for Syria) that in case if Iran is invited to the conference we would not take part in it,” the Coalition’s representative Ahmed Ramadan stated.
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afkham said Tehran was planning to take part in the Geneva II Peace Conference on Syria.
“Iran will take part in the conference without preconditions,” the spokesperson said.
Earlier, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Amir Abdollahian confirmed that an invitation from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had been received.
The Geneva II Peace Conference will be launched in Montreux, Switzerland, on January 22.