Report: Iran, US to take part in Syria aid conference

Washington, Tehran to attend a UN-sponsored meet in Geneva, but Saudi participation still unclear, 'Foreign Policy' reports.

November 16, 2013 09:26
1 minute read.
Syrians cope with gas shortage in Damascus

Syrians cope with gas shortage in Damascus 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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In what appears to be another thaw in relations between the United States and Iran, representatives from the two governments are expected to participate in a UN-sponsored conference aimed at alleviating the humanitarian crisis that has gripped Syria since the outbreak of civil strife two years ago, Foreign Policy magazine reported on Saturday.

Washington has thus far been opposed to joining Iran in taking part in any international initiative aimed at Syria relief, arguing that Tehran has contributed to the bloodletting by supporting the regime of President Bashar Assad.

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While the nations have not engaged in diplomatic relations since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Washington and Tehran have both shown a greater willingness to iron out their differences on Iran’s nuclear ambitions since the election of Hassan Rouhani to the presidency earlier this year.

According to Foreign Policy, the top UN official responsible for overseeing the world body’s relief efforts in Syria invited representatives from at least a dozen countries to a conference in Geneva dedicated to facilitating the delivery of relief to over 2 million Syrians affected by the crisis.

The US, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Britain, and China are among the governments who have been summoned to the Geneva meeting, which is likely to take place within two weeks, Foreign Policy reported.

American and Iranian officials responded positively to the invite, though it is yet unclear whether the Saudis, who have shown their dissatisfaction with what they perceive to be Washington’s conciliatory approach toward their Iranian rivals, will participate, according to Foreign Policy.

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