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Syrian opposition issues ultimatum on peace talks

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published January 20, 2014 at 6:51 a.m. Updated January 20, 2014 at 8:54 a.m.

BEIRUT — Syria's main Western-backed opposition group says Iran must commit publicly by 1 p.m. to withdraw its "troops and militias" from Syria and abide by a 2012 transitional roadmap, or else the U.N. should withdraw its invitation for Tehran to take part in a peace conference.

The Syrian National Coalition says if those conditions are not met by the Monday deadline, then it will not attend the so-called Geneva 2 conference that is scheduled to begin Wednesday.

The U.N. issued a last-minute invitation to Iran late Sunday, prompting the Coalition to threaten to sit out the peace talks and throwing the entire Geneva conference into doubt.

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