Russia says Iran should be part of Syria summit

AFP , Tuesday 26 Jun 2012

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. (Photo: Reuters)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that Iran should be invited to an international meeting on the Syria conflict in Geneva on Saturday.

"We believe it (Iran) has to be invited. It should certainly be done," Lavrov told reporters after Russian President held talks with Jordan's King Abdullah II on the shores of the Dead Sea. Lavrov said he would take part in the summit, but indicated that the talks without Iran would be less productive.

"You have to use this chance," he said, adding that if Iran is not invited "then all those who can really influence all the main Syrian sides will not be present." He hinted that there is still a chance Iran might be invited.

"We have an understanding among the most active organisers of the conference," Lavrov said.
UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan wants to hold the meeting of the major powers in Geneva in a final bid to get agreement on a political transition plan for Syria.

Annan has not yet officially announced the meeting. The United States, Britain, France and China -- the other four permanent members of the UN Security Council -- have not yet said whether they would attend the Geneva meeting.

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