Russia supports participation of Iran, Iraq, Egypt in Lausanne talks on Syria

Moscow, SANA – Russia’s Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that Russia supports the participation of Iran, Iraq, and Egypt in the Lausanne talks on Syria which are scheduled for Saturday.

Bogdanov said that Russia supports the presence of Iran, Iraq, and Egypt in these talks and that it discussed this issue with the Americans, adding that Russia believes that the settlement process must be launched by a small number of countries that have direct influence on Syrian sides.

He also sides that the participants in the Lausanne talks will discuss reinstating the cessation of combat activities in Syria.

In the same context, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will be participating in the Lausanne meeting, and Iranian Assistant Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari also confirmed Zarif’s participation.

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.

The Swiss city of Lausanne will be hosting on Saturday a meeting on the crisis in Syria in which Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, US State Secretary John Kerry, and other foreign ministers will participate.

Hazem Sabbagh

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