Iran invited to Syrian peace talks: U.N. official – ARA News – 28 Apr 2015 – Geneva – On Monday, the United Nations spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said that Iran has been invited to Syrian peace talks in Geneva in May along with the country’s government, opposition groups, and other regional powers. In May, the U.N. headquarters in Geneva will host separate talks with Syrian rival groups for at least four weeks.

“Iran has been invited to these separately conducted consultations,” UN spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said in a statement. According to Fawzi, the U.N. hasn’t yet prepared a list of Syrian opposition’s factions who will be invited to join the upcoming talks. “The talks would take place mostly at an ambassadorial and experts level,” he said.

The next round of Syrian talks aims to forge a political solution to the conflict, now in its fifth year, which has killed more than 220,000 people and forced almost 4 million to flee the country. Officials reported that the invitations to participants to attend the initial Geneva consultation were sent last week. The U.N. special envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said that the upcoming talks between rival Syrian parties “will not follow the lines of previous Geneva peace talks and will not include direct negotiations”. De Mistura’s statements followed a closed session at the United Nations’ headquarters which ended with sending invitations to the Syrian conflicting parties in an attempt to find a political solution to the four-year-long crisis. Noteworthy, the previous dialogue rounds between the Syrian parties, which were held under the umbrella of the United Nations in Geneva, did not succeed in stopping the conflict that has claimed the lives of more than a quarter of a million Syrian people. Reporting by: Lorin Silo