|Iran has ‘crucial role’ in Syria: Qatari FM||
TEHRAN – Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammad Al-Attiyah has said that Iran can play a vital role in Syria.
The United Nations invited Iran to the Geneva II conference on Syria, however, it withdrew the invitation under a pressure from Washington and threat by the Syrian opposition that it would boycott the conference if Iran attended the conference. The U.S. had said Tehran should accept the Geneva I communiqué as a precondition to participate at the conference.
“Iran is a very important figure on this equation, and I think that Iran can play a vital role on this file. The only thing which made the organizer of this conference withdraw the Iranian invitation is because they didn’t announce that they acknowledge Geneva I. But still I think Iran has a crucial role in solving this issue,” Attiyah said in an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor at the Jan. 22 opening session of the high-level segment of the United Nations peace conference on Syria.
Commenting on the Persian Gulf Arab state’s relations with the Islamic Republic and its position toward Tehran’s nuclear issue, he said, “Qatar and Iran’s relations have always been a good relationship. Iran is our neighbor, and from the earliest days we have been encouraging to solve this nuclear issue with Iran amicably and peacefully, because we are against any act of aggression on any of our neighbors.
“We live in the same region, and we believe in the rights of the country to have their peaceful use of nuclear technology. We welcomed the interim agreement between the P5+1 and Iran.
“The only thing is we try to always encourage our allies and colleagues that if there is any arrangement in the region, they should involve us, at least keep us in the picture.
“Honestly speaking, we don’t fear Iran being our neighbor, we have a good relationship with them. We have differences for sure, one of our differences with Iran is the Syrian case. We have our position, they have their position, but that does not mean this should reflect on the other side of the relationship, which we always encourage, and the Iranians are doing so as well.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, he said that he was planning to have a visit soon to Iran.
“We intend to keep the relationship in good shape. We believe in dialogue.”
Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay in touch and receive all of TT updates right in your feed reader