UN Secretary-General withdraws invitation to Iran for peace talks with Syria

By Hannah Gullickson,

On Monday, the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon withdrew his invitation to allow Iran to attend the peace talks concerning Syria’s civil war. The main reason was that Iran did not agree to the stipulations of the June 2012 Geneva convention. The peace talks would attempt to confirm some peace between the Syrian government, headed by President Bashar al-Assad, and the government’s opponent, the Syrian National Coalition.

At first, according to Reuters, Ban gave the invitation because the Iranian government had agreed to the last stipulation of the 2012 Geneva convention, which would lay out the plan for a transitional administration over Syria. However, when Iran made clear that they no longer endorsed this stipulation, Ban withdrew his invitation.

“The secretary-general is deeply disappointed by Iranian public statements today that are not at all consistent with that stated commitment,” said Ban’s spokesman, Martin Nesirky.

NBC News confirms that while Russia continues to support the idea of Iran’s participation in the talks, the Syrian National Coalition agrees on the secretary-general’s decision.

Yet, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki expressed her hope that without Iran’s participation, the peace talks can focus more clearly on ending Syria’s civil war.

“We are hopeful that, in the wake of today’s announcement, all parties can now return to focus on the task at hand, which is bringing an end to the suffering of the Syrian people and beginning a process toward a long overdue political transition,” she said.

Photo Courtesy of WikiMedia Commons



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