German FM backs Iran's participation at Geneva II

Steinmeier expresses support for Iran’s participation at the upcoming conference on Syria, but also underlines several countries' reluctance.

German FM backs Iran's participation at Geneva II

World Bulletin / News Desk

Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier expressed support on Wednesday for Iran’s participation at the "Geneva II" peace conference scheduled for January 22 with the aim of finding a solution to the Syrian civil war.

"My position is that we should try to involve the neighbors, also Iran," Steinmeier said during a joint press conference in Berlin with his Swedish counterpart Carl Bildt.

"I know that some are slightly hesitant whether Iran should participate or not," the German foreign minister said in response to a question.

"My experience tells me that the security situation would not improve by excluding certain parties," he said, adding that according to his knowledge the United States (US) has still not taken a final decision on Iran's possible participation in the conference.

Steinmeier warned that the situation in Syria has recently become much more complicated and difficult to forecast, thus further increasing the significance of the Geneva II conference. He called on the representatives of the Syrian opposition to take part in the conference.

"I would like to use this opportunity to make an appeal to the members of the opposition who are still hesitant towards participation," Steinmeier said.

"The right format will include important representatives of the opposition in the country. They will have to attend, they will have to be there."

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has expressed hope for a rapid end to the conflict in Syria and underlined that they will continue working for the success of the conference. He also called for urgent steps to address the humanitarian crisis in the country.

"We are all concerned about the restrictions on humanitarian access," Bildt said. "We have been calling on the UN Security Council to be more forthcoming, more active on humanitarian issues in Syria," he stressed.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Ocak 2014, 09:48