Broader participation in Vienna may help solve Syrian crisis

World Today

Kurdish refugees from Kobani watch as thick smoke covers the Syrian town of Kobani during fighting between Islamic State and Kurdish Peshmerga forces, as seen from the Mursitpinar crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in Sanliurfa province October 26, 2014. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

As there was no major breakthrough in solving the Syrian crisis during a meeting in Vienna a week ago, foreign ministers of Russia, the US, Saudi Arabia and Turkey agreed to hold another meeting this week on Thursday and Friday, with a broader participation of regional and key countries.

The Vienna II meeting is expected to gather efforts from all related parties to seek out a way to putting an end to the four-year-long conflict in Syria that has killed more than 250,000 people and displaced millions.

Early Wednesday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif confirmed his country will be part of the talks. This is the first time Iran will engage diplomatically on the Syrian issue. The occasion will also mark the first time that Zarif would be attending an official meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, that had nothing to do with the nuclear negotiations.

Before John Kerry headed to Vienna, he had said this week’s Vienna talks will be “the most promising opportunity for a political opening” to save the war-torn country.

Kerry reaffirmed that the ultimate goal of the U.S. is to defeat “Daesh”, using a term for the Islamic State group based on its Arabic acronym, before the war in Syria can be over.

For Saudi Arabia, talks will make clear the intentions of Russia and Iran, the main supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to the country’s Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, during a news conference on Wednesday.

Philip Hammond, British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, said the two-day talks will also focus on the future of Syrian President Assad, one of the core issues that would decide the kind of future the war-torn country could expect.

The Syrian war, which began in 2011, not only has torn the country apart and resulted in a quarter-million people killed, but it has also led to the biggest refugee crisis since World War II in Europe.

After the last round of talks in Vienna, John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov had reached a common ground, in which they agreed to share the fight against the Islamic State group and other extremist militant groups, and to keep Syria as a unified nation where the Syrian people will decide the future of their country.


World officials gather for multilateral talks in Vienna

More than a dozen world powers are meeting in the Austrian capital for talks aimed at finding a political solution to bring an end the four-year old civil war in Syria.
CCTV’s Jack Barton reports from Vienna.

World officials gather for multilateral talks in Vienna

World officials gather for multilateral talks in Vienna

More than a dozen world powers are meeting in the Austrian capital for talks aimed at finding a political solution to bring an end the four-year old civil war in Syria. CCTV's Jack Barton reports from Vienna.


Negar Mortazavi on Iran-Syria talks

For more on Syria crisis, CCTV America’s Asieh Namdar spoke to Negar Mortazavi. She is a Iranian-American Journalist.

Negar Mortazavi on Iran- Syria talks

Negar Mortazavi on Iran- Syria talks

For more on Syria crisis, CCTV America's Asieh spoke to Negar Mortazavi. She is a Iranian-American Journalist.