Iran hosts Syria conference, West skeptical

By REUTERS
August 9, 2012 06:36

 
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DUBAI - Iran hosts a foreign ministers' conference on Thursday to seek a resolution to the intensifying conflict in Syria but its latest diplomatic foray into the crisis has been met with deep skepticism by Western nations.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has billed the meeting of a dozen unnamed countries as an opportunity "to replace military clashes with political, indigenous approaches to settle the disputes," but there are doubts over the attendance of key players involved the crisis.

Those attending would be countries with "a correct and realistic position" on the Syrian conflict, a senior Iranian diplomat said this week, indicating that no pro-opposition nation would be present.

It was unclear which nations would attend but Western diplomats have dismissed the conference as an attempt to divert attention away from bloody events on the ground and to preserve the rule of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

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