Volume. 12234

Iran calls for immediate meeting of contact group on Syria
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_02_am1(150).jpgTEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has called for an immediate meeting of a contact group on Syria comprising Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey to help resolve the Syrian crisis.
Salehi made the remarks in a recent interview with Al Mayadeen satellite television channel, IRNA reported on Saturday.
He also said that Iran was ready to host the meeting of the contact group.
In addition, the foreign minister said that considering the status of Egypt in the Arab and Muslim worlds, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s proposal for the establishment of the contact group was highly important and effective. 
He went on to say that Iran had made minor modifications to the initiative, adding that the changes had not affected the essence of the proposal. 
An Iranian Foreign Ministry official announced on April 21 that negotiations of the contact group on Syria would resume in the near future. 
“Egyptian officials will announce the date of the meeting soon,” Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said. 
Morsi had put forward the proposal for the establishment of the contact group to help defuse the Syrian crisis during an emergency Islamic summit held in Mecca on August 14 and 15, 2012. 
The first meeting of the group was held in Cairo on September 17, 2012. 
The meeting in Cairo was described as the quartet meeting of the foreign ministers of Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, but neither Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal nor any other Saudi Arabian official attended the meeting. 
Their second meeting was held in New York on September 29, 2012, again in Faisal’s absence.  
The three ministers also met for the third time in Islamabad on November 21, 2012, a day before the summit of the D-8 group of developing countries in the Pakistani capital.

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