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Iran says will attend Syria talks, rejects preconditions

Published on Jan 20, 2014 8:15 PM

TEHERAN (AFP) - Iran will attend Syrian peace talks this week in Switzerland but without preconditions, foreign ministry spokesman Marzieh Afkham told the official IRNA news agency.

"Based on the official invitation, Iran will participate in this conference without any preconditions," Ms Afkham was quoted as saying.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon sparked a furore Sunday by inviting Iran to the so-called Geneva II peace talks.

Mr Ban's invitation came after Teheran vowed to play a "very positive and constructive role" in efforts to end Syria's worsening three-year civil war that the UN says has claimed well over 100,000 lives. Iran is a key backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Washington, London and Paris reacted immediately, saying Iran would have to clearly and publicly support the idea of a Syrian transitional government if it wanted to attend.

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