The international community has welcomed Iran’s decision to join talks on Syria in Vienna.
Russia, the US and Europe will be at Friday’s meeting.
They will be joined for the first time by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
“The first step” – Germany
Germany’s foreign minister says it is not a breakthrough nor a political solution, but is definitely the first step:
“This might not seem like much, but in the light of the problems we have had in recent weeks and months, getting the most important participants around one table means a lot. The fate of Assad will not be decided in Vienna.”
The future of Bashar al-Assad
The future of President Bashar al-Assad is key.
Russia and Iran say he must play a part in any political transition.
But others, notably the US, say Assad has no role in Syria’s future.
No decision on this is expected from the current talks.