Iran in Syria at Damascus request, Lavrov tells Saudi FM
Story Code : 631273
During a joint press conference with Lavrov in Moscow on Wednesday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir accused Iran of interfering in the region, including in Syria, and said the Iranian military advisers needed to leave the Arab country.
He also expressed Riyadh’s opposition to the presence of fighters from the Lebanese resistance movement of Hezbollah in Syria.
In response to Jubeir’s remarks, Lavrov said that the Iranian advisers and Hezbollah fighters were present in Syria at the request of the Syrian government.
The top Russian diplomat stressed that within the framework of the Astana talks, Iran, along with Russia and Turkey, was one of the guarantors of a ceasefire agreement between the warring sides in Syria, which came into force in December 2016.
The ceasefire agreement was brokered by Russia and Turkey with the support of Iran.
Ankara, Moscow and Tehran mediated three rounds of peace negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition groups in the Kazakh capital Astana since the beginning of 2017. The fourth round is scheduled for May 3 and 4.
Lavrov added that Iran had also declared its commitment to UN Security Council Resolution 2254, which was unanimously adopted in December 2015 to help bring an end to the conflict in Syria.
He, however, said that only the Syrian people were entitled to determine the fate of their country.
Russia, along with Iran, has been assisting the Syrian government in its fight against terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the Arab country since 2011.
Hezbollah has also been aiding the Syrian government in its battle against extremist militants.
Hundreds of thousands of people have died in the Syrian war that the government blames on some Western states and their regional allies, including Saudi Arabia.