UN rescinds invitation to Iran to attend talks

January 20, 2014 • World News

In this Jan. 19, 2014 photo provided by the United Nations, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon briefs correspondents at the U.N. headquarters in New York on the decision by the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Armed Forces to participate in the upcoming Geneva Conference on Syria. He also said that he had issued an invitation to Iran to participate. (AP Photo/United Nations, Emmanuel Dunand)

GENEVA (AP) — A last-minute U.N. invitation for Iran to join this week’s Syria peace talks threw the long-awaited Geneva conference into doubt Monday, forcing U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon to rescind his offer under intense U.S. pressure after the opposition threatened to boycott.

With the invitation withdrawn, the main Western-backed opposition group said it would attend the talks aimed at ending Syria’s ruinous three-year civil war.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 U.N. secretary-general, set off a flurry of diplomatic activity to salvage the talks. The U.S. said the offer should be rescinded, and the opposition threatened to skip the event Login to read more

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