Iranian media report that representatives from 30 countries gathered in Tehran today, Thursday August 9, to discuss the Syrian crisis.

Hossein Abdollahian, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, announced that influential countries in the region and from around the globe attended the meeting.

The Mehr News Agency reports that some of the countries attending the meeting were Pakistan, Algeria, Oman, Zimbabwe, Iraq, Venezuela, Tajikistan, India, Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Nicaragua, Cuba, Sudan, Jordan, Tunisia, Belarus, Mauritania, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Benin, Sri Lanka and Ecuador.

Lebanon, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have declined to join the summit.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi opened the conference at the Azadi Hotel in Tehran, stressing Iran’s belief that “serious and comprehensive dialogue is the only viable solution" to the Syrian conflict.

ISNA reports that Salehi said Iran is calling for international observers to return to Syria in a renewed mission until peace and security are achieved.

A message from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was read at the gathering, criticizing the Assad government for failing to resolve the Syrian crisis through the intervention of Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League envoy to Syria.

Ban Ki-moon has called for both sides in Syria to take responsibility to stop the violence and the killing of civilians.