Italy stresses Iran involvement in Syria solution
Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini has underscored the need for Iran’s participation in any effort aimed at settling the crisis in Syria.
Speaking at a seminar organized by the Aspen Institute in Rome on Thursday, Mogherini said that the Syrian crisis worries her the most, as it has lingered for three years, with the humanitarian situation getting worse.
Ways should be found to involve Iran and all regional actors, the Italian foreign minister said, adding that ‘otherwise, we do not go forward.’
She further noted that the Syrian conflict should not be overshadowed by the West’s tension with Russia in the wake of Crimea’s integration into the Russian Federation.
Mogherini warned that focusing on new conflicts and forgetting about the old ones would be a historic mistake.
On March 15, the UN secretary general highlighted Iran’s role in resolving the Syrian crisis, urging Tehran to use its influence on Damascus to help revive the talks aimed at ending the conflict in the Arab country.
“Iran is one of the important regional countries who can play an important role, including impressing upon the Syrian authorities to come to the Geneva conference in a more constructive way,” Ban Ki-Moon said after an informal meeting of the UN General Assembly attended by UN-Arab League Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi.
The second round of the talks between delegations representing the Syrian government and the foreign-backed opposition in Geneva deadlocked in mid-February with both sides sticking to their positions.
The Syrian delegation said fighting terrorism should be the top priority, but the opposition insisted that the formation of a transitional government and resignation of President Bashar al-Assad must come first.
Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. Some sources say over 140,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by Western-backed militants.