Thursday, April 24, 2014   

UN rescinds Iran invite for Syria talks
(01-21 09:56)

A last-minute UN invitation for Iran to join this week's Syria peace talks threw the long-awaited Geneva conference into doubt Monday, forcing UN chief Ban Ki Moon to rescind his offer under intense US pressure after the opposition threatened to boycott.
The main Western-backed opposition group said it would attend the talks aimed at ending Syria's three-year civil war. The opposition said the conference should seek to establish a transitional government with full executive powers “in which killers and criminals do not participate.''
The surprise invitation, extended Sunday by the UN secretary-general, set off a flurry of diplomatic activity to salvage the talks. The US said the offer should be rescinded, and the opposition threatened to skip the event entirely.
The conference is set to begin Wednesday in the Swiss luxury resort city of Montreux, with high-ranking delegations from the United States, Russia and close to 40 other countries attending. Face-to-face negotiations between the Syrian government and its opponents _ the first of the uprising _ are to start Friday in Geneva.

   
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