Iran receives UN’s Geneva II invitation: official

Deputy Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian

Press TV -(Mon Jan 20, 2014) Tehran has received UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s invitation to attend Geneva II talks on the Syrian crisis, says an Iranian Foreign Ministry official.

However, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian who serves as Iranian deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs declined to comment on whether Tehran will attend the confab.
Ban announced on Sunday that he had invited Iran to take part in the Geneva II conference.
“As I have said repeatedly, I believe strongly that Iran needs to be part of the solution to the Syrian crisis,” he told a news conference at the UN headquarters in New York.
Ban said he and Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have had intense talks over the Syrian crisis in the past two days and have agreed upon the implementation of the June 30, 2012 communiqué, including the action plan.
“Foreign Minister Zarif and I agree that the goal of the negotiations is to establish, by mutual consent, a transitional governing body with full executive powers … He assured me again and again that Iran, if they are invited, then they will play a very positive and constructive role,” the UN chief added.
The Geneva Communiqué, approved in 2012, urges a transitional government in Syria without any role envisaged for President Bashar Al-Assad in the country’s future.
Meanwhile, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces threatened to pull out from Geneva II talks unless UN retracted Iran’s invitation.
The United States also reacted to the UN’s invitation and has set preconditions for Iran’s participation in the Syrian talks.
“The United States views the UN secretary general’s invitation to Iran to attend the upcoming Geneva conference as conditioned on Iran’s explicit and public support for the full implementation of the Geneva communique,” US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
Iranian officials have announced that Tehran will accept no precondition to participate in the Geneva II conference
Peace negotiations between Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s government and opposition groups are due to start in the Swiss town of Montreux on Wednesday.

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