Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi is set to travel to the Egyptian capital, Cairo, to discuss the Syrian crisis with his Egyptian, Turkish, and Saudi Arabian counterparts. Heading a political delegation, the Iranian foreign minister will leave Tehran for Cairo on Monday to attend the quartet’s second round of talks. Salehi said he will also hold talks with Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi during the visit. During an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in the Saudi city of Mecca in mid-August, Egyptian president put forward a proposal for the establishment of a contact group, comprising Iran, Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, to help resolve the Syrian crisis.
Last Tuesday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, along with diplomats from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey attended a meeting in Cairo to exchange views on the situation in Syria.During the meeting, Iran called for the inclusion of Iraq and Venezuela in the contact group, saying that Baghdad and Caracas can contribute to the success of the team. Syria has been the scene of unrest since mid-March, 2011, and many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the violence. The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside and criticizes certain Western and regional countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, for arming and funding insurgents operating in the country. The opposition, however, accuses the security forces of being behind the violence. YH/HMV/MA