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Lavrov says withdrawing Iran invitation for Syria talks ‘mistake’

Lavrov says withdrawing Iran invitation for Syria talks ‘mistake’

PanARMENIAN.Net - Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday, Jan 21, that UN chief Ban Ki-moon’s decision to cancel Iran's invitation to this week's peace talks on Syria was a mistake, RIA Novosti reported.

Iran’s invitation was withdrawn Monday after the Syrian opposition’s National Coalition threatened to boycott Wednesday’s conference if the Iranians took part.

“Of course, it is a mistake, but not a catastrophe," Lavrov told reporters during an annual press conference in Moscow.

Russia had insisted that Iran should participate in the so-called Geneva 2 peace talks due to start in Montreux, Switzerland on Wednesday.

Iran’s presence at the talks was vehemently opposed by the Syrian opposition because Iran has been a key regional ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad since the uprising against his government began almost three years ago.

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