Publishe Date: 11:12 AM - 10/28/2015 | Print

Afkham: Iran still pondering on Vienna meeting participation

Politics - Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said Iran’s participation in Vienna meeting is still under consideration.

Talking to IRNA on Wednesday, she confirmed Iran had received invitation to participate in the meeting but said Tehran is still deliberating on the issue.

She noted that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov reviewed regional issues especially the situation in Syria on the phone last night.

She said the two foreign ministers mainly focused on the Syrian crisis.

Following the last night phone conversation, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that 'the sides continued discussion of possible ways of settling the Syrian crisis with a focus on urgent steps towards establishing an intra-Syrian political dialogue'.

The conversation was initiated by the Iranian side, according to the statement.

Earlier, Lavrov and Zarif had telephone conversation on October 24 and 26, which were preceded by a meeting between foreign ministers of Russia, the United States, Saudi Arabia and Turkey in Vienna on October 23 which also focused on Syria.

After the Vienna meeting, Lavrov stressed it was necessary to expand the circle of external players to promote the settlement and named Iran and Egypt as top candidates to join the group, local media in Russia said.

Lavrov on Tuesday underlined the need for Iran's presence in the upcoming Vienna meeting on the Syrian crisis.

He said that the present small group negotiating about the Syrian crisis (Russia, the United States, Saudi Arabia and Turkey) is not able to find a settlement to the conflict.

Lavrov expressed hope that Iran and other regional countries will attend the second round of Vienna talks on Syria which is due to be held next Friday.

Criticizing the critics of international efforts to solve the Syrian crisis, the Russian foreign minister said that Western countries have come to the conclusion that the crisis in Syria can be solved only through diplomatic means.

Lavrov said that in recent meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry, he had found out that the members of the so-called anti-terrorist US-led coalition are not unified in face of terrorist threats.

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