French president open to Iranian presence at Syria talks

By REUTERS
June 18, 2013 20:44

 
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ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland - French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday opened the door to Iran attending a Syria peace conference, but reiterated that there was no future for Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Global leaders called for the so-called Geneva 2 talks to be held as soon as possible to end the Syrian civil war but they avoided mentioning the fate of Assad in a final G8 summit communique in Northern Ireland.

Paris had previously ruled out Iran taking part in the proposed conference, saying Tehran had no desire for peace and would use the Syria talks to detract from negotiations later in the year with major powers over its nuclear program.

"On the presence of Iran, let's wait for the new president to speak and let's see if he can be constructive," Hollande told reporters. "My view is that if he is constructive, then yes he will be welcome.

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