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News number: 9106063012

17:39 | 2012-09-11

Foriegn Policy

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Senior MP Urges Inclusion of Iraq, Algeria, Pakistan in Syria's Contact Group

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iranian legislator called for the involvement of Iraq, Algeria and Pakistan in the quadrilateral contact group on Syria.

"The quadrilateral meeting among Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Turkey is not a balanced gathering to reach a solution (to the Syrian problems) and a balance should be created and other countries like Iraq, Pakistan and Algeria should join the meeting," Chairman of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi told reporters on the sidelines of an open session of the parliament on Tuesday.

Senior diplomats from Iran, Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia gathered in Cairo last evening to find a solution to the current crisis in Syria. Iran was represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian at the meeting.

"The mission of the Iranian deputy foreign minister is two things; first, they should reach an agreement so that other countries will be added to the group and second, they should specify the framework of the negotiations," Boroujerdi said.

He, meantime, underlined that no negotiation with the precondition of political change in Syria or overthrow of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government will yield results.

According to FNA dispatches, during the Cairo meeting, Iran proposed that Iraq, as current president of the Arab League (AL) and a key neighboring state of Syria, and Venezuela, a member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Troika, join the coming meetings of the contact group on Syria.

Earlier, Arab media had raised the possibility of the inclusion of France in the contact group, but Iran said that during bilateral and multilateral meetings in Cairo no one has talked of France's involvement in the group.

Amir Abdollahian represented Iran in the quadrilateral meeting with senior Turkish, Egyptian and Saudi diplomats in Cairo last evening to discuss ways of ending bloodshed in Syria.

The initiative for forming the quadrilateral contact group on Syria was put forward by Egypt's first post-revolution President Mohammad Mursi at a recent emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Meantime, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said originally, the Egyptian President had suggested a gathering of four countries, but Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad suggested that two further countries should be included in this group.

The proposal went under further discussions during a recent phone talk between the Iranian and Egyptian foreign ministers and was also a topic of discussions between senior Iranian and Egyptian officials on the sidelines of the 16th heads-of-state summit meeting of the NAM in Tehran late in August.