Geneva II Summit

Mr Peter Hain (Neath) (Lab): Will the Foreign Secretary correct me if I am wrong about the tortuous diplomacy over Geneva II? Iran’s participation is clearly essential to getting an agreement to end the catastrophic war. Iran knows that a transitional Government is the only way of doing that. On the other hand, it does not want to be seen to be abandoning its long-term ally, the barbarous regime in Syria. As we know from Northern Ireland, preconditions often kill the prospect of any negotiated solution. How will we resolve that impasse?

Mr Hague: The right hon. Gentleman is absolutely right about it being a tortuous process, including over the past few days, but it should be possible for Iran to say what others, including Russia, are able to come to Geneva II and say—that our aim is to implement the objective of the Geneva I communiqué: a transitional governing body by mutual consent. It was not a precondition, but it was fair to expect Iran to come to the conference on the same basis as all other foreign states. The practical reality is that if it was not prepared to say that, it would have led to the collapse of the conference. It was clear that if it did not do that, we would not be going to Geneva II tomorrow.