Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi has expressed Tehran’s readiness to host the next round of the quartet talks on the ongoing crisis in Syria.
“We have announced our readiness to host the next quartet summit to resolve Syria’s crisis and if it is decided that the talks be hosted by another country, including Saudi Arabia, we will participate in that meeting,” Salehi said at a joint press conference with his counterpart from Guinea-Bissau, Faustino Imbali, in Tehran on Sunday.
Salehi said foreign ministers from the countries comprising the quartet group, namely Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, have discussed the Syrian issue several times and achieved good results.
In order to settle regional crises including the unrest in Syria, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi put forward the proposal for the formation of the quartet group during a summit of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Mecca in August 2012.
A high-level meeting of the group was held on September 17, 2012, about a week after preparatory talks in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, by lower-ranking officials from the four countries.
The presidents of Iran, Egypt and Turkey also met in Cairo on February 6, calling for an immediate solution to the crisis in Syria and an end to the bloodshed there. The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 12th OIC summit. Saudi Arabia did not attend the negotiations.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on April 21 that Egyptian authorities would “soon” announce the date for the next round of the quartet talks.
Elsewhere in his presser, Salehi said he is in constant consultations with his Egyptian opposite number Mohamed Kamel Amr in order to facilitate the implementation of Morsi’s Syria proposal.
“Every day a number of innocent people are being killed in Syria and we have a duty to prevent [further] bloodshed,” the Iranian foreign minister said.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of security personnel, have been killed in the violence.
Damascus says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of militants fighting in Syria are foreign nationals.
Several international human rights organizations say the foreign-sponsored militants are committing war crimes in Syria.