UN Withdraws Iran Invitation to Geneva-2

World | January 21, 2014, Tuesday // 13:18
Bulgaria: UN Withdraws Iran Invitation to Geneva-2 Photo by EPA/BGNES.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has withdrawn his invitation to Iran to attend the Geneva-2 talks less than 24 hours after making it, according to Reuters.

Iran will not participate in the international peace conference on Syria because of it rejection to embrace the framework laid out in a previous conference, UN and Iranian officials said Monday.

UN leader Ban Ki-moon believed he had Iran's assurance that it accepted the original Geneva declaration from 2012, his spokesman, Martin Nesirky, told reporters.

"The Secretary-General is deeply disappointed by Iranian public statements today that are not at all consistent with that stated commitment. He continues to urge Iran to join the global consensus behind the Geneva Communiqu?."

"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," said Nesirky.

Shortly after the UN announced its decision, the Syrian National Coalition confirmed its participation in the conference.

Iran's participation in Geneva-2 talks drew strong objections on Sunday from American officials, who suggested that the country had not met all the conditions for attending and that the invitation might need to be withdrawn.

On Monday the State Department welcomed Ban's announcement, saying it hoped the focus could be shifted back towards ending Syria's civil war.

The Geneva-2 peace conference is meant as a follow-up to one held in June 2012, where world powers issued a call for a Syrian transition government.

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Tags: Iran, Geneva-2, UN, Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, Syria, peace talks
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