0351 GMT January 21, 2018
“If we do not resolve the Syrian problem with Iran around the table, then we will not have an efficient response, because Iran today is among the powers that have an influence on the ground,” Macron told reporters in New York on Tuesday, Press TV reported.
Macron pointed to Paris’ efforts to set up an international contact group on Syria to revive the UN-led peace talks in the Swiss city of Geneva.
“Noting the US refusal today, I want that the contact group advances and that the United Nations and France can serve as intermediaries with Iran,” Macron said.
Since January, Iran, along with Russia and Turkey, has been mediating a peace process between the Syrian government and the opposition in the Kazakh capital, Astana.
The Astana negotiations were launched after Russia and Turkey helped broker a nationwide cease-fire between Syria’s warring sides in a process supported by Tehran.
The latest round of the talks in Astana saw the signing of a document on the boundaries of a fourth de-escalation zone. Iran and Russia, Damascus’ allies in the negotiations, and Turkey, which backs several militant groups, had already agreed on three such safe zones in the previous rounds.
A parallel peace process is also underway under the auspices of the United Nations in the Swiss city of Geneva.
The Geneva talks have not made much progress compared to the negotiations in Astana. That has angered some of the backers of the militants operating in Syria, which would not like to see the Astana talks succeed.
Besides the diplomatic front, Iran has also stood by the Syrian nation on the battleground against terrorist groups, providing its army with advisory support at the request of the Damascus government.
Backed by Iran and Russia, Syrian government forces have dealt heavy blows to Daesh terrorists and other terrorist groups operating across the Arab country.