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Lavrov Warns Trump that Iran Must Be Included To Achieve Syrian Peace

May 23, 2017 (EIRNS)—Asked today about President Donald Trump’s remarks on Iran while in the Middle East, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov replied, as reported by TASS wire service:

"Tackling any problems, including those we see in the Middle East and Northern Africa, will be possible only on the inclusive basis. This implies the need for all ethnic, religious and political forces of any country concerned, be it Syria, Iraq, Yemen or Libya, to participate in each particular case.

"It also applies to the need for the involvement of all external actors who one way or another influence the situation on the ground. To a full extent, this also refers to Iran and to what has to be done to settle the Syrian crisis.

"The International Syria Support Group (ISSG) focuses precisely on the principle of inclusiveness, the principle of involving all external actors, and Iran is in the nucleus of this group.... The Astana process is also based on the principle of inclusiveness, considering that Russia, Turkey and Iran have come up with an initiative of a direct inter-Syrian dialogue with the participation of the government and the armed opposition.

"In this trio, Turkey also acts as a representative of some Persian Gulf Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The ministers of these countries confirmed during their visit to Moscow that Turkey also represented their approaches at the Astana venue. The fact that the Astana format and the decision on the ceasefire that was reached late last year, guaranteed by Russia, Turkey and Iran, was approved at the UN Security Council, demonstrates quite vividly the attitude of the international community to this situation."