KSA: Iran "not eligible" to attend Syria Geneva II talks
The U.N. invited Tehran to attend the talks - a move that has unproved unpopular with those opposed to Assad's regime. (AFP/File)
Click here to add Assad’s government as an alert
Disable alert for Assad’s government,
Click here to add Ban Ki as an alert
Disable alert for Ban Ki,
Click here to add Ban Ki-moon as an alert
Disable alert for Ban Ki-moon,
Click here to add Bashar as an alert
Disable alert for Bashar,
Click here to add Bashar al Assad as an alert
Disable alert for Bashar al Assad,
Click here to add Geneva as an alert
Disable alert for Geneva,
Click here to add Irna as an alert
Disable alert for Irna,
Click here to add Louay Safi as an alert
Disable alert for Louay Safi,
Click here to add Marzieh Afkham as an alert
Disable alert for Marzieh Afkham,
Click here to add Montreux as an alert
Disable alert for Montreux,
Click here to add Saudi Government as an alert
Disable alert for Saudi Government,
Click here to add Syrian government as an alert
Disable alert for Syrian government,
Click here to add Syrian National Coalition as an alert
Disable alert for Syrian National Coalition,
Click here to add Tehran as an alert
Disable alert for Tehran,
Click here to add Twitter as an alert
Disable alert for Twitter,
Click here to add United Nations as an alert
Disable alert for United Nations
Saudi Arabia said on Monday Iran was not eligible to attend the Geneva 2 peace talks on Syria, following the U.N. invite to Tehran to attend the conference later this week.
"Iran is not eligible to attend. Inviting any party to the Geneva 2 talks is dependent on their support of a transitional government,” a statement from the Saudi government read, broadcast by Al Arabiya News Channel.
“Iran has not voiced its support for a transitional Syrian government and has troops fighting alongside [Syrian President Bashar] al-Assad," the statement added.
The Syrian opposition threatened on Sunday to pull out from upcoming peace talks with global powers and the Syrian regime after the U.N. invited Iran to attend the conference.
U.N. leader Ban Ki-moon said Iran had pledged in the talks, due to start on Wednesday in the Swiss town of Montreux, to play a “positive and constructive role” in efforts to end Syria’s civil war.
But the announcement prompted the Syrian National Coalition to warn that it may withdraw from from the negotiations. It warned that it would not attend unless the invitation was retracted.
The Syrian National Coalition had only decided on Saturday to attend the conference and talks between Assad’s government and the opposition are due to start in Geneva on Friday.
Spokesman Louay Safi announced on the coalition’s Twitter account that the opposition group would withdraw “unless Ban Ki-moon retracts Iran’s invitation.”
The United States also said Ban should withdraw the invitation unless Iran, a key backer of Assad, gives “explicit” support to the conference aim of setting up a transitional government in Syria.
Following the dramatic series of events, Iran said it will attend Syrian peace talks this week in Switzerland but without preconditions, foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham told the official IRNA news agency.
"Based on the official invitation, Iran will participate in this conference without any preconditions," Afkham was quoted as saying.
- Syrian opposition coalition to attend Geneva II, reaffirms Iran cannot be involved
- The Iran drama: Are the usual suspects to blame for Geneva 2 invitation tactics, or is there more behind the Syrian peace talk story?
- U.N. chief on Geneva II: Syrian govt, opposition invited
- Syrian opposition says it will attend Geneva peace talks after all
- France: Assad will not attend Geneva II