Iran invited to attend Geneva II conference on Syria
Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 20
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
Iran has been invited to attend the Geneva II conference on Syria.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian confirmed receiving an invitation from the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to visit the Geneva II Syria peace conference, Iranian IRNA agency reported on Jan. 20.
"Iran has received a letter of invitation to attend the Geneva II conference," Abdollahian said. But, he did not answer the question whether the Iranian authorities intend to send a delegation to the conference.
Yesterday the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced that he sent an invitation letter to Tehran for the country to participate in the Geneva II conference. UN Secretary-General said he had received assurances that Iran will play a positive and constructive role in peace talks on Syria.
Earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif assured that he will accept the invitation to attend the Geneva II conference, if it is sent by the UN Secretary-General.
The conference is scheduled to be held on Jan. 22. Several countries, including the United States and Saudi Arabia, previously hindered Tehran's participation in this meeting.
Meanwhile the Syrian National Coalition states that it will refuse to participate in the Geneva II conference, if Ban Ki-moon does not withdraw the invitation to Iran. Syrian opposition says Iran is one of the main supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
On Jan. 18, the National Coalition's General Assembly adopted a decision to participate in the Geneva II peace conference. It was reported that the delegation will include nine people.
According to international organizations, over 130,000 people were killed, and more than 2.4 million people fled Syria during the conflict, which broke out in March 2011.
Translated by E.A.
Edited by C.N.