Iranian FM to Attend Syria Talks in Lausanne

Mohammad Javad Zarif

Despite earlier reports, Iran has announced that it will send its foreign minister to the upcoming talks in Lausanne on the Syrian crisis.

Although earlier media reports said that Iran is not going to send any representative to the upcoming round of multilateral talks on the future of Syria in the Swiss city of Lausanne, Iranian Foreign Ministry announced that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will join his counterparts in the talks.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry announced on Friday that Zarif will participate in the Lausanne talks, which will also see US Secretary of State John Kerry as well as foreign ministers from Russia, Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia in attendance.

According to a report by Entekhab, as translated by IFP, Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari also confirmed in a post on his Telegram channel that Iran, Egypt, and Iraq will take part in the Lausanne talks.

The reports came after Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that Moscow supports the participation of Iran, Iraq, and Egypt in the Lausanne talks on Syria which are scheduled for Saturday.

Bogdanov said that it discussed the issue of their participation with the Americans, adding that Russia believes the settlement process must be launched by a small number of countries that have direct influence on Syrian sides, SANA reported.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he has “no special expectations” for the talks, stating that Moscow has not yet witnessed reciprocal steps from its Western partners.

Addressing reporters in the Armenian capital Yerevan on Friday, Lavrov said Russia has no intention to introduce fresh initiatives during the meeting.

“We want to get down to concrete work and see how well our partners observe the UN Security Council resolution (on Syria). We are not going to propose anything else,” the top Russian diplomat pointed out.

On a relevant note, US State Department Spokesman Mark Toner said in a press conference that he doesn’t expect any breakthroughs at the Lausanne meeting, but that the US is working to rally joint efforts regarding Syria, adding that resuming cooperation with Russia in counter-terrorism is still on the table if the political process is revived.