Geneva 2: UN retracts Iran’s invite, Syrian opposition confirms attendance
January 20, 2014
The UN has withdrawn an invitation for Iran to the January 22 Geneva 2 peace conference after Syria’s main Western-backed opposition group threatened to pull out of talks if the Islamic Republic attends.
A UN spokesperson announced Monday that UN chief Ban Ki-moon has withdrawn his invitation for Iran.
“[Ban] continues to urge Iran to join the global consensus behind the Geneva communique,” Ban’s spokesman Martin Nesirky said. “Given that it has chosen to remain outside that basic understanding, [Ban] has decided that the one-day Montreux gathering will proceed without Iran’s participation.”
Following the announcement Syria’s main opposition group – Syrian National Coalition – has confirmed its participation in the peace talks.
“We appreciate the United Nations and [UN Secretary-General] Ban Ki-moon’s understanding of our position. We think they have taken the right decision. Our participation is confirmed for 22 January,” Monzer Akbik, chief of staff of the president of the National Coalition told Reuters.