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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Lavrov to Discuss Global Conference on Syria with Iran

RIA Novosti

11:39 11/06/2012 MOSCOW, June 11 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Iran on June 13 to discuss Russia’s proposal for convening an international conference on Syria, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

“We proceed from the fact that Iran should be among its participants, along with countries neighboring with Syria and other states that have influence on Syrian sides,” the ministry’s press office said.

“Without Iran’s participation, the possibilities of constructive international influence on Syria will not be used in full.”

At least 9,000 people have been killed in clashes between the government and opposition forces in Syria since the start of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad last year, according to UN estimates.

UN special envoy Kofi Annan said on Thursday his six-point peace plan aimed at stopping the violence in Syria is "not being implemented." The presence of a group of UN observers also had little impact on the situation. Annan warned of an escalating crisis and laid responsibility for the atrocities on al-Assad’s regime.

The United States has rejected the idea of Iran’s participation in the Syrian crisis settlement. Moscow believes an international conference on Syria should be held under the aegis of the United Nations and should bring together the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Syria’s neighbors – Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, and also Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as well as the League of Arab States and the European Union.

In the efforts to settle the Syrian crisis, “the most topical task that remains today is to assist the fulfillment of the plan proposed by UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan and approved by the UN Security Council and remove problems impeding these efforts,” the press office said.

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