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Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:2PM
Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi (file photo)

Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi (file photo)

Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi is set to visit Syria as part of an international campaign to help resolve the crisis in the Arab country. During the one-day visit on Wednesday, Salehi will meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem. During a joint press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr in Cairo late on Monday, Salehi stated that more talks were needed to agree on a plan which would meet the demands of all sides in Syria. The three foreign ministers also held a meeting with the UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and the Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi later on Monday. During an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Mecca in mid-August, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi put forward a proposal for the establishment of a “contact group,” comprising Iran, Egypt, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, to help resolve the Syrian crisis. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal did not attend Monday’s meeting and there was no immediate Saudi comment on his absence. The Cairo meeting of the “contact group” on Syria was held about a week after preparatory talks in the Egyptian capital by lower-ranking officials from the four countries’ foreign ministries. Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Damascus says outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists are the driving factor behind the unrest and deadly violence while the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings. ASH/SS
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