DAMASCUS, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al- Moallem said Sunday that his country is committed to Iran's participation in the upcoming Geneva II peace conference on Syria, saying that it's illogical to exclude Iran for political reasons by the U.S. and the exiled Syrian opposition.
The U.S. and the exiled opposition have shown adamant stance regarding the participation of Iran in the Geneva II conference. Around 30 nations are going to attend the January 22 conference in the city of Montreux, Switzerland and the actual negotiations between the representatives of both the government and opposition are scheduled to start two days later on January 24 in Geneva.
The international envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, said recently that the U.S. remained unconvinced that Iran's participation "would be the right thing to do."
"It's no secret that we in the United Nations welcome the participation of Iran, but our partners in the United States are still not convinced," Brahimi said on Friday.
Meanwhile, the head of the Syrian diplomacy stressed that Syria is looking forward to holding the Geneva II conference "because Syria has a clear vision based on the aspirations of the Syrian people and committed to the directives of President Bashar al- Assad."
The Minister's remarks came Sunday during a two-day forum held in the capital Damascus to discuss the recent media challenges and duties.
He said that the first issue Syria will propose during the conference will be combating terrorism, adding that combating terrorism will lead to a political solution.
Al-Moallem asserted that Syria will do its best to ensure that Geneva II will produce results that satisfy the Syrian people, adding that the final decision will be made by the Syrian people and that "no force on earth can force Syria to negotiate its national sovereignty."
He affirmed that those in the opposition who believe that they' re going to the conference to seize power are "delusional," saying "we are going to meet those in the opposition who reject interference in Syria's internal affairs, reject terrorism, and work for creating the future Syria."
On the Syrian state's plan if the conference failed, al-Moallem said that the Syrian government has a political plan and a national conference will be held in Syria in tandem with the Syrian army's ongoing military operations against the rebels "out its constitutional duties of defending the Syrian people and eradicating terrorism."
Responding to a question on what the Syrian government will offer at the conference and what it will take from it, al-Moallem said that there will be no bargains in Geneva, and that the dialogue will be among Syrians and led by Syria.
"If we set the interest of the Syrian people and the country as our goal, then we don't need settlements in the style of deals," he explained, saying that the goal is to reach a roadmap for the future with the Syrians participating in the conference.
DAMASCUS, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian troops on Sunday killed as many as 73 rebels in separate clashes nationwide, the state-media reported, as opposition activists claimed that aerial bombing on rebel-held areas in Aleppo killed 471 people over the past week.
The official SANA news agency said the Syrian troops killed 30 "terrorists" from the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and other jihadist groups during a series of "qualitative" operations in two areas of the rebel-held Douma suburb, east of the capital Damascus. Full story
DAMASCUS, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- Syria's Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi stressed Saturday that his government will take part in the Geneva II peace conference on Syria "to build the renewed Syria according to the interests of Syria only."
"Syria is going to Geneva II conference with the support of the sweeping majority of the Syrian people and the sacrifices and steadfastness of the Syrian army to build the renewed Syria according to the interests of Syria only," Information Minister al- Zoubi said during a two-day forum discussing means of developing Islamic media outlets and coordination among them in light of the ongoing events in Syria. Full story