Brahimi says could work around Iranian absence from Syria talks

Iran remains a sticking point inplans for a conference to end the conflict in Syria,international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Friday, with theUnited States still refusing to let it participate.

But Brahimi said he would continue to work with Iranianofficials if they were not officially invited. He said they hadtold UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that it would not be theend of the world if they were not present, and they wouldcontinue to work with him on the sidelines.

Brahimi said he wanted both the Syrian sides to releasevulnerable prisoners, such as women and children, and to improvehumanitarian access as a show of good faith before the Jan 22conference.
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