Russia: Iran Opposes US Presence in Syria Talks

Russia: Iran Opposes US Presence in Syria Talks

Russia welcomes possible US participation in the upcoming Astana talks on Syria, but Iran’s position is complicating the issue, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told BBC in an interview cited by Sputnik. “We will welcome that [US participation in Astana talks]. The situation is very complicated. You know that there is also Iran like a very important player in the Syrian issue. Iranians are not welcoming this. So it is a very complicated issue for a very careful play,” Peskov said. The peace negotiations on Syria will take place on Monday in Astana, Kazakhstan. The Syrian opposition groups have agreed to attend the talks brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran as an attempt to end the six-year civil war in the country, while terrorist groups, including the self-styled Islamic State and Nusra Front, are excluded. On Tuesday, Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari confirmed in an interview with Sputnik that he would lead the Syrian government’s delegation at the talks. Peskov noted that settling the Syrian crisis is impossible without the participation of the US side and Moscow is willing to cooperate with Washington on the issue. “This is probably the cause of some disagreement between Moscow and Tehran … It is obvious that without the United States it is impossible to resolve the Syrian issue,” he said. When asked whether a Russia-US deal was possible on Syria, the spokesman added that “not a deal, but cooperation” was needed.


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