UN: Iran invited to attend Syrian peace conference

Posted: January 21, 2014 in Current Affairs, World Affairs
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NEW YORK: Iran has been invited to attend a meeting of foreign ministers in the Swiss city of Montreux on Wednesday ahead of internationally brokered peace talks between Syria’s warring factions, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said Sunday.Ban said he had issued the invitation to Iran after ”speaking at length in recent days” with Iranian Foreign Minister Javid Zarif, who had ”pledged that Iran would play a positive and constructive role in Montreux.”Ban spoke to reporters at an impromptu briefing Sunday late Sunday afternoon.

He said Iran is among 10 additional countries invited to attend the Montreux meeting that precedes the peace talks scheduled to begin Friday between Syrian President Bashar Assad’s delegation and Syrian opposition groups at the UN. European headquarters in GenevaThirty other countries had already been invited to attend the Montreux meeting.Invitations to the one-day meeting of foreign ministers at a Montreux hotel had been subject to approval by the initiating states, Russia and the United States, but the two countries had been at an impasse over whether Iran, Assad’s strongest ally, should attend.

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