UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon makes an announcement at the UN headquarters in New York on January 19, 2014
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon makes an announcement at the UN headquarters in New York on January 19, 2014 © Emmanuel Dunand - AFP/File
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon makes an announcement at the UN headquarters in New York on January 19, 2014
AFP
Last updated: January 20, 2014

Ban considering "options" for Syria peace conference

The United Nations on Monday canceled Iran's invitation to attend a Syria peace conference this week on account of its refusal to back calls for a transitional government in Syria.

UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is "deeply disappointed" at Iran's statements rejecting a 2012 communique adopted by international powers on ending the Syria war.

"Given that it has chosen to remain outside that basic understanding, he has decided that the one-day Montreux gathering will proceed without Iran's participation," Nesirky said at a press briefing.

Ban issued a surprise invitation on Sunday for Iran to attend the start of the Syria peace conference in the Swiss town on Wednesday.

But the Syrian opposition threatened to withdraw from talks if Iran was present and the United States had demanded the invitation be retracted if Iran did not accept the communique, which called for a transitional government.

Just before the UN announcement, Iran's UN envoy Mohammad Khazaee reaffirmed his government's rejection of the communique adopted in Geneva in June 2012.

"Iran has always been supportive of finding a political solution for this crisis," Khazaee said in a statement.

"However the Islamic Republic of Iran does not accept any preconditions for its participation in Geneva II conference.

"If the participation of Iran is conditioned to accept Geneva I communique, Iran will not participate in Geneva II," he said.

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