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US pressures UN to withdraw Iran invite to Syria talks

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The United States is exerting pressure on the United Nations to withdraw its invitation of Iran to take part in this week international peace conference on the Syrian crisis.

A senior US State Department official claimed on Monday that Tehran has “never endorsed the Geneva I communiqué” and “we expect the invitation will be rescinded.”

Washington has urged the UN to withdraw Iran’s invitation less than two days before the talks start.

The Geneva Communiqué, approved in June 2012, urges a transitional government in Syria without any role envisaged for President Bashar Al-Assad in the country’s future.

On Sunday, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the Islamic Republic of Iran has been invited to the Geneva II conference on the crisis in Syria.

“As I have said repeatedly, I believe strongly that Iran needs to be part of the solution to the Syrian crisis,” the UN chief said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday supported inviting Iran to the peace talks on Syria, saying the conference would resemble “hypocrisy” without Iran’s participation.

The Geneva II conference will kick off in the Swiss city of Montreux on January 22 and then move to the UN headquarters in Geneva on January 24 after a one-day break.


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