The Holy See’s representative at the Geneva II peace talks on Syria says real peace in the country may be challenging to achieve without Iran, one of the key powers in the region, participating in the discussion.
Silvano Tomasi is leading the Holy See delegation to the Geneva II
summit, underway in Montreux, Switzerland. The foreign ministers at the
summit are currently discussing the Geneva II document, which outlines a
political transition plan for Syria.
Earlier this week, UN
General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon retracted his controversial invitation to
Iran to the talks, eliciting mixed reaction from the international
In an interview with Vatican Radio, Archbishop Tomasi spoke on Iran’s absence from the talks.
Politics demands that certain decisions be made, said Archbishop Tomasi.
had to make some strange decisions,” he said. “In my opinion, it is not
very realistic to try to have peace without one of the key powers in
the region. But we hope that, with the discussions underway on (Iran’s)
nuclear program, we can keep the door open a little, so as not to impede
the dialogue that we are starting with Syria.”
said the absolute priority of the talks is to respond to the demand of
the Syrian population to bring an end to the violence, death and
destruction. About 130,000 people have died and entire villages have
been destroyed, he noted.
“Faced with this reality, the
international community is seeking to respond with a sense of solidarity
to find “an acceptable compromise to begin effective negotiations,”
said Archbishop Tomasi.
Face-to-face negotiations between the
Syrian government and the opposition, the first since the conflict began
three years ago, will begin in Geneva on Friday.