Top of the Morning: Iran Disinvited to Syria Peace Talks

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Iran Disinvited to Syria Peace Talks

On Sunday, Ban Ki Moon made a surprise announcement that he has sent Iran an invitation to the much anticipated peace talks in Geneva this week. By Monday, that invitation has been rescinded under heavy US pressure. “The United States’ longstanding position has been that Iran, a major backer of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, must publicly endorse the mandate of the conference, which is outlined in a communiqué from a 2012 meeting in Geneva. That mandate says that the conference’s purpose is to negotiate the establishment of a transitional administration that would govern Syria by the “mutual consent” of Mr. Assad’s government and the Syrian opposition.” (NYT

Meet the New President of Central African Republic

She is a businesswoman and mayor of Bangui with no strong ethnic ties to either camp. “‘I am the president of all Central Africans, without exception,’ said Mayor Catherine Samba-Panza, succeeding Seleka leader Michel Djotodia who stepped down as interim president this month under international pressure over his failure to end the bloodshed. ‘I appeal to my anti-balaka and Seleka children to listen to me and lay down your weapons,’ said the Chadian-born politician, who moved to Central African Republic when she was 18…People sang and danced in the streets of the riverside capital Bangui on Monday to celebrate the choice of post-colonial Africa’s third female head of state, after Malawi’s Joyce Banda and Liberia’s Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.” (Reuters