Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi calls for “serious and inclusive talks” between the Syrian Government and Opposition Groups

by Colonel on August 9, 2012

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“Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi called on Thursday for “serious and inclusive” talks between the Syrian government and opposition groups, opening a meeting of friendly nations called by Tehran as it seeks to exert its influence over the conflict.

More than 25 nations were present at the conference but significantly none of them back the Syrian opposition or have called for President Bashar al-Assad to leave power.

State television broadcast the opening statement of the talks, which Salehi said were attended by delegations from Russia, China, Iraq, Pakistan, Jordan, India, among others.

The Syrian government has said it is ready for dialogue but the opposition says Assad must step down as a precursor to any negotiations. Continued hostilities in Aleppo, where the Syrian military is bombarding rebel fighters, make talks unlikely in the near future.” —  Marcus George, Yeganeh Torbati, Zahra Hosseinian, Rosalind Russell and Giles Elgood, Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters

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