Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


UN withdraws Iran invitation to Syria talks

21 January 2014, 12:41

United Nations - The UN secretary general withdrew his invitation to Iran to join this week's Syria peace talks, saying he is "deeply disappointed" by Iran's statements Monday.

A spokesperson for Ban Ki-moon announced the withdrawal less than 24 hours after Ban surprised the US and others by saying he had invited Syria's closest regional ally.

The invitation was withdrawn shortly after Iran's UN ambassador declared the Islamic Republic wouldn't join the Syria talks if required to accept the roadmap sketched during a 2012 Geneva conference on Syria.

A spokesperson for Ban, Martin Nesirky, said senior Iranian officials had assured Ban that Iran understood the terms of his invitation.

"The Secretary-General is deeply disappointed by Iranian public statements today that are not at all consistent with that stated commitment," Nesirky said.

"He continues to urge Iran to join the global consensus behind the Geneva Communiqué."


The talks are set to begin on Wednesday in the Swiss city of Montreux, with delegations from the United States, Russia and close to 40 other countries attending. Face-to-face negotiations between the Syrian government and its opponents - the first since the three-year civil war began - start Friday in Geneva.

But Ban's announcement on Sunday night that Iran was invited to Montreux angered Syria's main Western-backed opposition group, which over the weekend had announced it would join the talks after intense international pressure.

The opposition set a Monday afternoon deadline, saying Iran had to commit publicly by 1900 GMT Monday to the terms set in the 2012 Geneva talks - the formation of a transitional government for Syria that would pave the way for democratic elections - or the UN should withdraw the invitation.

Senior US officials also said Ban's invitation had to be withdrawn unless Iran fully and publicly endorsed those terms.

Invitations to the Montreux meeting had been subject to approval by the initiating states, Russia and the United States, but the two countries had been at an impasse over Iran.

Amid the anger, Ban said on Monday morning that he was "urgently considering his options" in light of the "disappointing conduct of some participants" in the peace talks.

"Throughout the Syrian conflict, the Secretary-General has sought to do everything within his power for a political solution, which is the only path forward," the UN statement on Monday afternoon said.

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Dating that one person that socie...

Works at a massage parlour. Works at Millionaires Club (that one on Baricho road) - you know the ones I am talking about. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
What do men mean when they say th...

As much as men think they are the ones confused by relationships, they have a better idea of it than most women actually do. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Ruto urges African leaders to shu...

DP William Ruto has called on African nations to shun help from western forces, saying that they can solve their own problems. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Don't be corrupt like your elders...

Shun corruption at all costs, President Uhuru Kenyatta urges Kenyan youth. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Senators order PS to resign over ...

The Senate Health Committee has told Health PS Nicholas Muraguri to resign over the unaccounted for KES 5 billion. Read more...