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Russia Confirms, Says Iran Should Be At Summit On Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said after confirming his country's participation in an upcoming international meeting on the Syria conflict that Iran should be invited to join the gathering.

Lavrov made the statement on the sidelines of a June 26 meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Jordan's King Abdullah II on the shores of the Dead Sea.

Lavrov also said he would take part in the June 30 summit, which is expected be held in Geneva.

The meeting has been organized by Kofi Annan, the UN-Arab League negotiator for Syria. Annan has not yet officially announced the event.

The United States, Britain, France, and China -- the other four permanent members of the UN Security Council -- have not yet said whether they would attend the reported Geneva meeting.

Meanwhile, activists said elite Syrian forces clashed with rebels just outside Damascus again on June 26.

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin told reporters that "we need to work even harder" because of what he called the "grim" situation in Syria.

Churkin was speaking ahead of a closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council on Syria.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, dpa, and Reuters

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