UN in charge of preparing lists of opposition, terrorist groups in Syria, Iran says
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 13
By Fatih Karimov- Trend:
The United Nations is in charge of preparing lists of opposition and terror groups in Syria, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs said.
Preparing the list of opposition groups, which are committed to a political process, alongside the list of terrorist groups depends on negotiations between all influential parties and efforts by the UN, Amir Abdollahian said in a phone talk with the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura on Dec. 13, Iran's Press TV reported.
The two parties discussed the latest developments related to international talks aimed at settling the conflict in Syria.
Amir Abdollahian said that settling the Syria crisis is only possible by political approach and Syrian-Syrian talks between the government and the opposition groups which believe in political process.
De Mistura, for his turn, stressed the Islamic Republic's important role in resolving the crisis.
The phone conversation came after more than 100 members of Syrian opposition groups took part in a two-day meeting in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, in a bid to unite before upcoming Vienna peace talks.
Amir Abdollahian expressed disapproval of the meeting, saying some groups with links to the Islamic State terrorist group (IS/ISIS/ISIL) were present at the meeting.
The Riyadh meeting contradicted the Vienna talks' agreement, the top Iranian diplomat added.
Iran has participated in the two latest rounds of international talks on the conflict in Syria which were held in Vienna on Oct. 30 and Nov. 14.
The first round of peace talks held in Vienna on Oct. 30 failed to reach an agreement on Bashar Al-Assad's fate, as Tehran expressed support for President Assad's government, while their rival, Saudi Arabia, demanded his exile.
Meanwhile the parties reached an agreement in the second round of talks last month which set a January 1 target for peace talks and would see a transitional government set up in six months and elections in 18 months.
Tehran has always expressed support for the Syrian government since it views the Assad regime as its main strategic ally in the region and as part of an "axis of resistance" against Israel.
Western countries accuse Iran of running military operations in Syria, but Tehran denies these accusations. Iranian officials have repeatedly stressed that they only provide military consultations to Syrian forces.