|Iran should be a main player at Syria conference: Putin||
TEHRAN – On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated Moscow’s position that Iran should be a “main player” in the conference on Syria known as “Geneva II” set for January 22.
The remarks by the Russian president come as the U.S. has opposed Iran’s participation in the conference, saying Iran should first support the terms of the Geneva I communiqué.
Putin expressed hope that he would persuade his partners over Iran’s presence at the meeting.
“We consider any preconditions on Iran’s presence (in the conference) as useless and unconstructive,” Putin said in a telephone conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
The Iranian president, for his part, said that the Geneva conference should focus on finding a tangible solution to the ongoing turmoil in Syria instead of holding a “negotiation show”
He added that any extra-regional conference, which would be held without the participation of “influential elements”, would not be able to find a solution to the crisis and therefore the Geneva II conference would fail prior to its convention.
Russia, Syria, and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon have repeatedly said that Iran should attend the international conference on Syria.
The two presidents also discussed a number of major issues, including rising insurgency in Iraq, terrorism and extremism as well as bilateral relations.
The Iranian president said that Tehran is ready to cooperate with Russia to seriously deal with terrorism.
“If terrorism would not be uprooted and if there would not be a united effort to make the world free from violence and extremism and if certain countries continue to militarily support terrorist groups, the security of the region and the world would be undermined,” Rouhani said.
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