News Column

U.N. Withdraws Iran Invite to Syria Talks

January 20, 2014

Sky News (UK)

UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said Ban Ki-Moon is "deeply disappointed" by Iran's statements rejecting a 2012 communique adopted by international powers on ending the Syria war.

"Given that it has chosen to remain outside that basic understanding, he has decided that the one-day Montreux gathering will proceed without Iran's participation," Mr Nesirky said at a news briefing.

Mr Ban issued a surprise invitation on Sunday for Iran to attend the start of the conference in the Swiss town on Wednesday.

But the Syrian opposition threatened to withdraw from talks if Iran was present and the United States had demanded the invitation be retracted if Iran did not accept the communique, which called for a transitional government.

The Syrian National Coalition has said it will join the talks now that Iran's invitation has been retracted.

"We appreciate the United Nations and Ban Ki-Moon's understanding of our position. We think they have taken the right decision," said Monzer Akbik, a spokesman for the coalition.

(c) Sky News 2014

Original headline: Syria Peace Talks: UN Cancels Iran Invitation

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Source: (c) Sky News 2014

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