MOSCOW, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Moscow hopes Iran will participate in the upcoming international peace conference on Syria, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday, ahead of a scheduled visit by Russia's top diplomat to the country.
"Russia stands for inviting the influential regional states, including Iran, to the Geneva-II conference on Syria," the ministry said in an online comment.
On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is expected to kick off a two-day visit to Tehran. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and his Russian counterpart, Mikhail Bogdanov, had previously exchanged views on the Syrian crisis in Moscow in November.
The peace conference, dubbed Geneva-II and scheduled for Jan. 22, is aimed at bringing together the warring sides in Syria to hammer out a political solution to try and end the civil war, which has killed more than 115,000 people over almost three years.
Some Western countries initially opposed Iran's participation in the conference on the grounds that Tehran did not support the Geneva communique, a 2012 agreement to transfer Syria's leadership.
Moscow has also reiterated that any outside involvement in the Syrian conflict without the UN Security Council's consent would only worsen the situation.