Wednesday Nov 20, 201910:33 AM GMT
Geneva meet lacks key participant, Iran
Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:52PM
Interview with Franklin Lamb, international lawyer
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The foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and four other Middle Eastern states have gathered in Geneva to hold talks on the current situation in Syria.

The representatives of Russia, China, the United States, Britain and France along with Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait and Iraq began the meeting at the United Nations office on Saturday.

The participants in the Geneva meeting were convened by the UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan.

On June 27, some UN diplomats said Annan has proposed the formation of a Syrian transitional government that could include supporters of President Bashar al-Assad and opposition members.

The proposal was expected to be one of the main points of focus during the Geneva meeting.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Franklin Lamb, international lawyer, to hear his opinion on this issue. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Some key players in the region and even neighboring states of Syria are missing from the line-up of the meeting. Who gets to decide on the who’s who of these meetings and who gets to participate?

Lamb: Well that is the very fundamental question and of course we know who decided this time, the American government. We know who was vetoed and not allowed to participate, Iran, arguably the key player in resolving this conflict along with Russia and the Americans vetoed it.

I am impressed with the Russians diplomatic sophistication that they even agreed to participate giving the fact that the Americans have given themselves a veto power and again this continues, the process that we have seen on the international level since the end of the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s.

That is the Americans have politicized the United Nations, hijacked the Security Council, now they determine who attends an International Convention or Conference. How do they have this authority? Of course they have no authority but they pressured the other powers and this meeting is going forward but again without the key participant, Iran.

Press TV: Do you think anything solid will come out of meetings of this sort? What is different this time and do you think that there is still hope for the Annan peace plan to prevail?

Lamb: Well I would guess there is slight hope but to answer your question directly what is different now, well the killing continues. There seems to be unanimity of all those participants to stop the killing.

Unfortunately the observers have gone, they stepped down, NGOs suspended their activities because of security issues and the violence has soared since that occurred. So hopefully they can get the observers back and that would be an achievement.

But they want as you know to breathe new life into the six-point plan of Annan, but the first step, the ceasefire has never been achieved and it has been on the table since April.

So no, I do not think much will come out of it but at least realistically we can hope that the observers come back and maybe the attention and the discussion outside of the conference might lead to some progress but again Iran has got to participate in this and maybe they will participate in a formal way or post-conference way.

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