An Iranian deputy foreign minister says the Geneva II peace conference aimed at containing nearly three years of deadly crisis in Syria is merely a “political show.”
“The Geneva II conference is a political show, which will not yield effective results and will require several other meetings,” said Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Wednesday.
The conference, dubbed Geneva II, opened in the Swiss city of Montreux on Wednesday. Representatives of about 40 nations and international groups were invited to the meeting. The event will move to the UN office in Geneva on January 24.
The Iranian official also criticized UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for withdrawing Iran’s invitation to attend the Geneva II talks, saying Washington exerted “too much” pressure on Ban in an attempt to prevent Tehran from taking part in the peace conference.
On January 19, Ban said the Islamic Republic had been invited to the peace conference on Syria, but he later retracted the invitation.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the UN chief’s move was “regrettable,” stressing that Ban rescinded Iran’s invitation “as a result of the pressure exercised on him.”
Amir-Abdollahian further emphasized Iran’s “active” and “effective” role in resolving the crisis in Syria, adding, “The Islamic Republic of Iran clearly announced that it was ready to attend this meeting without any preconditions.”
The Iranian diplomat also reaffirmed the need for a “Syrian-Syrian” solution to the foreign-backed turmoil in Syria, stressing that “Syrians should decide their fate themselves” free from foreign interference.
Syria has been the scene of a deadly crisis since March 2011. The United Nations says more than 100,000 people have so far been killed and millions of others displaced due to the violence”