Connect to share and comment

Syria opposition awaits UN stance before decision on peace talks

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The exiled Syrian opposition said Monday it would await an expected statement from UN chief Ban Ki-moon about Iran's attendance at peace talks this week before making a final decision to join.

The National Coalition meeting in Istanbul has threatened to boycott the so-called Geneva II conference due to open in Switzerland on Wednesday over Ban's decision to invite Iran.

It said in a statement that it expected Ban to hold a press conference in the next few hours to give the UN position on the invitation sent to Iran, a move that has plunged the peace talks into disarray.

"(Ban) has announced his frustration (at) Iran's refusal to recognise Geneva I which represents the reference to Geneva II conference and the basis of the invitation sent," it said, referring to a 2012 agreement by major powers for the creation of an interim government in Syria.

"The Syrian Coalition will send its final position on the basis of the statement of the secretary general," it added.

The deeply divided Coalition, an umbrella of myriad opposition groups, had only decided on Saturday after heated debate to attend the conference.

Iran has insisted it will attend the talks, aimed at trying to find a political solution to the bloody three-year conflict, "without preconditions".

pa-txw/lc

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140120/syria-opposition-awaits-un-stance-decision-peace-talks