Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 21
By Umid Niayesh- Trend:
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed regret over the UN's retraction of its invitation to Iran to take part in the Geneva 2 conference on Syria, saying the move undermined the dignity and status of Ban Ki-moon as the UN Secretary-General, Iran's Fars news agency reported on Jan. 21.
The Geneva 2 peace conference is a proposed UN backed international conference to take place in Geneva with the aim of ending the Syrian civil war and is scheduled to be held on Jan. 22.
On Jan. 20, Ban Ki-moon withdrew the invitation after Tehran declared it does not support the June 2012 political transition deal that is the basis for the talks.
"Ban Ki-moon contacted me several times last week and I stated to him explicitly that we don't accept any preconditions for participating in the meeting," Zarif said.
"We regret that Ban Ki-moon has withdrawn the invitation and believe that such an attitude is not appropriate for the status and dignity of the Secretary-General," he added.
During the conflict in Syria which began in March 2011, more than 115,000 people were killed in the country and over 4.2 million became refugees in Syrian territory and two million fled to neighbouring countries.
Iran is a close ally of the Syrian government and it always shows its support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad.