Volume. 11885

Iran should participate in Syria talks: UN chief
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_02_at1(94).jpgTEHRAN – United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday invitations to the next round of Syria peace talks would be sent by the end of year as he launched a fresh appeal for Iran to participate, according to AFP.
“As I have said before, Iran needs to contribute to peace in Syria along with others in the region.”
Ban said formal invitations to participate in the talks would be sent “soon, before the end of this month.”
Iran, a backer of the Syrian government, was not included in a list of participants released by international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi in Geneva on December 20.
The United States remains opposed to the participation of Iran at the conference, which has been scheduled to start on January 22 in the Swiss town of Montreux.
However, Ban remains a staunch advocate of Iranian participation, stating on Monday Tehran “can play a very important role” in the peace talks.
“It is a very important regional power. Logically, practically and realistically they should be a part of this meeting,” Ban said.
“But unfortunately there are differences of opinion on this matter... We are still trying to address this issue as soon as possible.”
Ban meanwhile called on all sides in the Syrian conflict to release hostages, end sieges and allow greater humanitarian access.
He also condemned the “appalling” use of TNT-packed barrel bombs in the northern city of Aleppo, which have left hundreds dead.
According to the UN envoy, about 30 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Brazil, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, would be invited to the day-long conference.
Syria has been gripped by a deadly crisis since 2011. According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the violence.

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