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Annan: Iran should be part of Syria solution
Geneva: UN envoy Kofi Annan has said that Iran should be involved in efforts to end the escalating violence that has claimed thousands of lives and forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.
Annan, the joint UN-Arab League envoy, told reporters on Friday that he is working to convene a so-called “contact group” meeting on Syria in Geneva on June 30. The United States has vehemently opposed the involvement of Iran, which Russia has demanded. Annan said the composition of the meeting is one of the sticking points that may not be resolved until next week.
“I have made it quite clear that I believe Iran should be part of the solution,” the former UN secretary general told reporters in Geneva, flanked by Maj Gen Robert Mood, the head of the struggling UN observer mission in Syria. “If we continue the way we are going and competing with each other, it could lead to destructive competition and everyone will pay the price.”
Annan said it was “time for countries of influence to raise the level of pressure on the parties on the ground”. However, he had no specific proposals for changing his six-point peace plan, which he said Syria had not yet implemented but still might support in the future.