US expects UN to withdraw Iran invite

2014-01-20 17:05
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announces the invitation of Iran to Syria's peace conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York. (Emmanuel Dunand, AFP)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announces the invitation of Iran to Syria's peace conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York. (Emmanuel Dunand, AFP)

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Washington - Washington is in talks with the UN over the surprise invitation of Iran to Syria peace talks and expects the invite to be withdrawn, a US official said on Monday.

Iran has "never endorsed the Geneva I communiqué" which calls for a transitional government in Syria and "we expect the invitation will be rescinded", a senior state department official said.

Syrian peace talks, due to open on Wednesday in the Swiss lakeside city of Montreux, were in disarray even before they began after the UN invite to Iran sparked a boycott call from the opposition.

And in an exclusive interview with AFP, President Bashar Assad also ruled out a power-sharing deal with the opposition.

Another senior US official, in Istanbul meeting with the Syrian opposition, confirmed that they had suspended their agreement to join the talks.

But he said the US delegation was still working under the assumption that the talks seeking a political solution to end the almost three-year war in Syria would go ahead as planned.

He accused Iran of not working for an end to the fighting. They are "escalating tensions on the ground" by mobilising foreign militias to fight for Assad and providing "substantial military" support, he told reporters on a conference call.

Read more on:    un  |  us  |  syria  |  iran  |  peace talks
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