There can be no peace talks on Syria without the participation of key players like Iran and Saudi Arabia, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Monday.
Presenting his new book, 'Interventions: A Life in War and Peace' in Moscow, Annan said it had been "difficult" to put all parties to the crisis in Syria in one boat and make them head in one direction," indicating that the proposed Geneva conference was intended to do just that.
"We wanted to bring all countries with influence on the Syrian situation to one table, but we could not reach an agreement with Iran. Besides, Saudi Arabia was not represented," he said in the book.
Annan said that all the key players, namely Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia were not represented in the Geneva conference, but that dialogue is "inevitable". He reaffirmed his belief that the international community has to exert strenuous efforts to reach that end.
"We also need the opposition, which is still divided politically and militarily, to unite," Annan said, saying that the U.N. Security Council cannot be effective unless "it speaks with one voice."
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer