Secretary-General, Deeply Disappointed by Remarks Inconsistent with Stated Commitment, Says Syria Conference Will Proceed Without Iran

20 January 2014
SG/SM/15596

Secretary-General, Deeply Disappointed by Remarks Inconsistent with Stated Commitment, Says Syria Conference Will Proceed Without Iran

20 January 2014
Secretary-General
SG/SM/15596
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General, Deeply Disappointed by Remarks Inconsistent with Stated

Commitment, Says Syria Conference Will Proceed Without Iran

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

During the brutal conflict of the past three years, the Syrian people have experienced horrendous suffering, humanitarian shortages and human rights abuses.  The Geneva Communiqué of 30 June 2012 remains the internationally agreed framework for ending the crisis.  It is the basis on which the global community will gather on Wednesday in Montreux, Switzerland, and the foundation for the negotiations between the Syrian parties that will begin on Friday in Geneva.

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.  He has consistently maintained that regional partners with influence on the Syrian parties should do their part in promoting implementation of the Geneva Communiqué, including the establishment of a transitional governing body with full executive powers.  Most recently, he has tried to ensure that all those who can contribute to the success of a Syrian peace process be present in Montreux to express their solidarity and support for the Syrian people.

In that spirit, in a series of meetings and telephone conversations, senior Iranian officials assured the Secretary-General that Iran understood and supported the basis and goal of the Conference, including the Geneva Communiqué.  The Secretary-General is deeply disappointed by Iranian public statements today that are not at all consistent with that stated commitment.  He continues to urge Iran to join the global consensus behind the Geneva Communiqué.  Given that it has chosen to remain outside that basic understanding, he has decided that the one-day Montreux gathering will proceed without Iran’s participation.

The Secretary-General looks forward to joining the initiating parties — the Russian Federation and the United States — as well as the other States and organizations that will attend this long-awaited and hugely important push for peace.  The Syrian parties, the region and the international community have an opportunity and a responsibility to end the violence and begin a transition towards a new Syria.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.