Iran warns of failure of Syria peace talks after being snubbed
MONTREUX, Switzerland (AFP) - Long-awaited peace talks on Syria's devastating civil war are set to go ahead this week after the United Nations withdrew an invitation to Iran, but Teheran said on Tuesday they were doomed to fail.
Officials have expressed little hope of a breakthrough at the peace conference starting on Wednesday in Switzerland, but have said just bringing President Bashar al-Assad's regime and the opposition to the same table will be a sign of progress.
There were stark reminders of the war's impact in the run-up to the talks, with a bombing in Beirut that left four dead and new evidence alleging that Assad's regime has systematically killed and tortured thousands.
Preparations were under way in the Swiss town of Montreux for the start of the so-called Geneva II talks after the abrupt United Nations reversal on Iran averted a Syrian opposition boycott.