No Place for Terrorists in Syria Peace Talks

No Place for Terrorists in Syria Peace TalksNo Place for Terrorists in Syria Peace Talks

A deputy foreign minister took a swipe at Saudi Arabia for its attempts to make room for notorious groups in Syria peace talks, stressing that the terrorists will not be allowed to enter Syria's political structure "in disguise".

Saudi Arabia's insistence on the inclusion of certain terrorists in the Syrian peace talks under the guise of opposition groups is an "unconstructive approach", Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Sunday.

He made the statements in a meeting with United Nations Special Coordinator of the Secretary-General for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag, Tasnim News Agency reported. Amir-Abdollahian argued that the terrorist groups cannot have a role in Syria's politics with a "new mask", noting that the vast majority of Syria people are opposed to such imposed moves.

The UN diplomat said Iran can play a major role in helping find a way out of the crisis in Syria.

Kaag also asserted that the crisis in Syria and the conflicts in Lebanon are "interrelated", noting that the settlement of crisis in Syria will greatly contribute to resolving problems in neighboring Lebanon. Three rounds of UN-backed negotiations have so far been held in Vienna and New York on the situation in Syria since October. A fourth session is also scheduled to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, in late January.

The participating states, including Iran, are devising a list of legitimate opposition groups, as opposed to terrorists, in Syria to engage in talks with the government in Damascus.

Syria has been entangled in civil war since March 2011, with terrorist groups such as the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, controlling parts of it, mostly in the east.

In the past four and a half years, more than 250,000 people have died in Syria—overwhelmingly civilians—and around four million Syrians have taken refuge in other countries. Around eight million others have been displaced internally.