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Iran's FM to visit Damascus ahead of Geneva-2 conference

January 13, 2014, 9:15 UTC+3 BEIRUT
Diplomatic sources said Zarif would "compare notes" with Syrian partners on the eve of the important international event
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© EPA/RAED QUTENA

BEIRUT, January 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif will visit Damascus on Tuesday ahead of Geneva-2 peace conference on Syria due to begin on January 22 in the Swiss city of Montreux.

Diplomatic sources here said Zarif would "compare notes" with Syrian partners on the eve of the important international event. On Wednesday, President Bashar al-Assad is expected to receive Zarif.

The Iranian Minister began his regional tour with visiting Lebanon. The tour will also bring him to Iraq and Jordan. Speaking at a news conference at Beirut's international airport on Sunday, Zarif stated that Iran would participate in the Geneva-2 conference if it "receives an invitation without any pre-conditions that would bespeak its presence".      

"We support any initiative aimed at terminating the conflict in Syria and we believe that a mechanism for a political settlement of the crisis must be drafted in Geneva," the Foreign Minister stated. "The best way that will make it possible to curb terrorism and religious fanaticism in Syria is to give an opportunity to the Syrians themselves to vote freely in elections," Zarif emphasized.

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