French Foreign Ministry said talks over the Syrian conflict will be held on Tuesday in France with representatives from the United States, Europe, Jordan and Turkey but without Syrian regime allies Russia and Iran.
The United States, Turkey, European countries and Arab states demand Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad to be removed from power to reach peace in the country. Assad refuses to do so, while enjoying the military and logistical support of his allies, Russia, Iran and Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah militia.
Since the beginning of the four-year war in Syria, more than 250,000 Syrians were killed, mainly by Bashar al Assad regime, whilst, half of the country’s population are displaced internally or in the neighbouring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq. More than 350,000 Syrians have also claimed asylum in Europe.
Foreign ministers from the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Turkey gathered for the first meeting in Vienna on Friday to discuss the situation in Syria and to define strategies to support the so-called "political transition.” However, they failed to reach an agreement over the political situation of Assad. France was not involved in the latest round of Syria talks in Vienna.
Iran has been invited to attend talks over Syria’s future in Vienna, for the first time, although the US doesn't agree on Iran's "destabilizing activities" in Syria, US State Department spokesman John Kirby said that officials "always have recognised that at some point in the discussion, moving toward a political transition, we have to have a conversation and a dialogue with Iran."
"It's up to Iran to decide whether they're going to or not when they are asked," he added.
US Secretary of State John Kerry met for two hours in Vienna with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, after Russian intervention in Syria's civil war.
Russia started its air strikes in Syria on September 30, with initial claim of battling DAESH terrorist group, however, in time the Russian intentions in Syria appeared to be to only protect the Bashar al Assad regime and withering authorities.
The meeting in France is expected to focus on the fight against DAESH, the protection of Syrian civilians, and the proposal for a United Nations Security Council resolution France plans to put on the table this week.
The resolution is aimed at stopping Assad's forces from using barrel bombs against his people. Barrel bombs are steel drums full of shrapnel and explosives that are dropped from the air.
The Russian military intervention has also been accused of killing civilians in its air raids that support Assad’s regime forces.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused Russian warplanes of hitting civilian targets in western Syria, killing dozens of innocent lives, the rights group said the act amounts to be a war crime, HRW said in statement on Sunday.