Moscow: Syria’s stabilization plan should include Iran’s interests

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MOSCOW – Russia’s Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Aleksandr Venediktov said on Sunday that he hoped to reach agreement with Israel and the US on steps to be taken to stabilize the Middle East and Syria in particular.

He thanked the United States, saying that the country is showing political will.

“We must pay tribute to our US partners: they have shown sufficient political will, and now we are preparing for a meeting of the secretaries of the Russian, US and Israeli security councils scheduled to be held in Jerusalem in the coming weeks,” he said.

The assistant secretary stressed that Iran should be part of the stabilization process of the Syrian crisis.

“We hope that the outcome of our joint work will be our common practical steps aimed at stabilizing Syria and the entire Middle East,” said Venediktov. “This process must take into account the interests of all actors, including Iran.”

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged having ordered air strikes against Syrian military positions earlier this month however.

The Israeli prime minister has warned that Iran will suffer “dire consequences” if it threatens Israel, while reaffirming its firm stance on the occupied Golan Heights.

“Not only do we take the threats of Iran seriously, but we are not deterred by them, because anyone who tries to reach us will be even harder hit… We have proved this many times in the history of our state,” Netanyahu said during a ceremony in Jerusalem.

Syria has been undergoing a war since March 2011. Government forces are confronted by armed opposition factions and terrorist groups. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed during the conflict in the Arab country.

The solution to the crisis is sought on two platforms. One in Geneva under the auspices of the UN and the other in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, with support from Russia, Turkey and Iran.

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