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Actual work begins after Jan 22- Lavrov on Syria
January 16, 2014, 12:09 pm

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif walk for their meeting at the Foreign Ministry mansion in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 [AP]

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif walk for their meeting at the Foreign Ministry mansion in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 [AP]

Denying all speculation about a separate draft agreement with Iran on Syria, Russia said the participation of Tehran in next week’s peace talks is “inevitable”.

Iran is a key ally along with Russia and China of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The three nations have rejected the use of force as a solution to the conflict.

“This does mean that we have any trilateral project. Our three countries don’t have any unique position on the Syrian crisis,” Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Moscow.

Lavrov held talks with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Moscow on Thursday.

“Iran must and will inevitably be involved in the complex measures needed to resolve the Syrian issue,” said Lavrov after the meet.

Moscow also reiterated calls for the Syrian government and opposition to jointly battle the terrorists that have invaded Syria.

“Geneva II is not just about January 22. The actual work to implement the Geneva Communiqué will begin after that,” said Lavrov on Thursday.

The Russian Foreign Minister is also scheduled to meet with Syrian Foreign Minister Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem on Friday.

Russian state agency Ria Novosti quoted a source in the Iranian Embassy in Moscow confirming a brief meeting between the Russian, Iranian and Syrian foreign ministers to discuss the Syrian crisis later on Thursday.

Lavrov said Russia is concerned by attempts to limit the number of Syrian opposition forces at the upcoming Geneva II conference.

The Syrian National Coalition, a grouping of Western-backed rebels is deeply divided on whether to go and will announce a decision on January 17.

Washington and Moscow are the prime sponsors of the Geneva II conference that has been delayed due to the continued violence in Syria and the opposition’s insistence on removal of the Assad regime as a precursor to talks.

 

Source: Agencies

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