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Withdraw Iran invite or we snub talks: Syria opposition

Published on Jan 20, 2014 10:43 PM
 
 An unexpected last-minute UN invitation for Iran to attend a peace conference on Syria threw the talks into doubt on Monday, Jan 20, 2014 with the Syrian opposition saying it would pull out unless Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon withdraws his offer. -- PHOTO: AFP

UNITED NATIONS/ANKARA (REUTERS) - An unexpected last-minute U.N. invitation for Iran to attend a peace conference on Syria threw the talks into doubt on Monday, with the Syrian opposition saying it would pull out unless Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon withdraws his offer.

"We are giving a deadline of 1900 GMT (0300 am Singapore time) for the invitation to be withdrawn," Anas Abdah, member of the National Coalition's political committee, told Reuters.

Iran is the main foreign backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its presence has been one of the most contentious issues looming over the first talks attended by both Mr Assad's government and opponents, set to start on Wednesday in Switzerland.

Adding to dark clouds over the talks, Mr Assad said he might seek re-election this year, effectively dismissing any talk of negotiating his departure from power, his enemies' main demand.

 
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