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News number: 9106062930

13:34 | 2012-09-11

Foriegn Policy

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Iran Wants Iraq, Venezuela in Contact Group on Syria

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran called for the involvement of Iraq and Venezuela in the quadrilateral contact group on Syria.

Diplomats from Iran, Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia gathered in Cairo last evening to find a solution to the current crisis in Syria.

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.

Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein 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 Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran late in August.