Russia says Iran crucial to success of Syria meeting

AMMAN Tue Jun 26, 2012 12:46pm EDT

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AMMAN (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday Iran's participation was crucial to the success of a meeting on the escalating conflict in Syria planned by U.N.-Arab league peace envoy Kofi Annan in Geneva this weekend.

Lavrov added that regardless of whether representatives from Iran were present, he would attend the international conference which Annan is attempting to organize on June 30 in Geneva.

"We are ready to go. Iran must be present. Otherwise the circle of participants will be incomplete and will not gather everybody who has influence on all Syrian sides," Lavrov told reporters.

"I think it (Iran) must be invited. There is an understanding (about this) among those who are most actively organizing it (the conference)," he said, on the sidelines of Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Jordan. (Reporting by Gleb Bryansky; Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel)

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