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Iran to attend Geneva 2 talks on Syria

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IOL pic jan20 ban ki-moon iran peace talks

Reuters

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) greets Iran's President Hassan Rohani during the UN General Assembly in New York on September 26, 2013. Ban Ki-moon said on Sunday he had invited Iran to participate in Syria peace talks on January 22 in Montreux, Switzerland. File picture: Eric Thayer

Ankara - Iran said on Monday it had accepted an invitation by United Nations Secretary-General to attend talks due to start on Wednesday in Geneva aimed at ending Syria's civil war, the student news agency ISNA reported.

“We have always rejected any precondition for attending the Geneva 2 meeting on Syria ... Based on the official invitation that we have received, Iran will attend the Geneva 2 without any preconditions,” ISNA quoted Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham as saying.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Sunday he had spoken at length with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in recent days and that he believed Tehran supported for the Geneva 2012 plan for Syria talks.

“He has assured me that like all the other countries invited to the opening day discussions in Montreux, Iran understands that the basis of the talks is the full implementation of the 30 June 2012, Geneva communique.”

“Foreign Minister Zarif and I agreed that the goal of the negotiations is to establish by mutual consent a transitional governing body with a full executive powers,” Ban said. “It was on that basis that Foreign Minister Zarif pledged that Iran would play a positive and constructive role in Montreux.”

France said earlier on Monday that Iran, a close ally of Assad, should not be allowed to attend the Syria peace talks if it did not accept the creation of a transitional government with full executive powers. - Reuters


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