Vienna Talks Should Facilitate Syria Political Process

Vienna Talks Should Facilitate Syria Political  Process Vienna Talks Should Facilitate Syria Political  Process

International peace talks in Vienna on finding a political settlement to the Syria conflict are aimed at helping the Syrian people determine the fate of their country, a deputy foreign minister said.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian also told reporters before the meeting in the Austrian capital on Saturday that the countries involved in the talks will not decide about Syria's future, IRNA reported.

"The Syrian people have the exclusive right to decide in this relation," he said.

"We will all try to help create proper conditions for the people of Syria to be able to determine their country's political future and succeed in their fight against terrorism."

Attendees included representatives from 18 countries, namely Iran, Russia, the United States, France, Germany, Britain, Italy, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, the UAE, Iraq and Australia.

Staffan de Mistura, the UN envoy to Syria, and Federica Mogherini, EU foreign policy chief, were also among those sitting at the negotiating table.

Amir-Abdollahian was to be joined later in the day by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

At the end of the previous round, participants issued a joint statement, saying, "Pursuant to the 2012 Geneva Communiqué and UN Security Council Resolution 2118, the participants invited the UN to convene representatives of the government of Syria and the Syrian opposition for a political process leading to credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance, followed by a new constitution and elections.

"These elections must be administered under UN supervision to the satisfaction of the governance and to the highest international standards of transparency and accountability, free and fair, with all Syrians, including the diaspora, eligible to participate," the statement said.

Amir-Abdollahian met heads of other participating delegates on the sidelines of the talks, including de Mistura, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.

In a separate development, an Iranian delegation led by Abbas Araqchi, the head of the Foreign Ministry's office for implementation of the July 14 deal over Tehran's nuclear program, held a meeting in Vienna on the same day with European and US officials to discuss procedures under which sanctions on Iran are to be removed after the deal goes into force.