Iran is ready to resume efforts on Syria with Egypt

Ahram Online, Monday 4 Feb 2013

Iran expresses readiness to revive joint diplomatic action with Egypt to help find a solution to the Syrian crisis

A Free Syrian Army fighter fires his rifle inside a Syrian Army base during heavy fighting in the Arabeen neighbourhood of Damascus February 3, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

Tehran is willing to continue consultations with Cairo aimed at reaching a political settlement to the Syrian crisis, Iran's Fars News Agency quoted the head of Iran's interest section in Egypt, Mojtaba Amani, as saying on Sunday.

"Syria is a common topic of discussions between Tehran and Cairo; no date has been fixed for a trilateral or quadrilateral meeting on Syria, but Iran is committed to continue consultations with Cairo based on Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's initiative for resolving the Syrian crisis," he stated on the sidelines of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in Cairo.

During the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran on 30 August last year, Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi said the Al-Assad regime "had lost all legitimacy" and the time had come to act, rather than showing sympathy for the Syrian people alone.

This statement follows Egypt's earlier move to form a regional contact group on Syria, which would include Iran, as well as Saudi Arabia and Turkey, both of which support Syrian opposition forces, in a bid to reach a peaceful settlement to the crisis.

In September, Syria accused Cairo of "signing the death warrant" of an Egyptian proposal for a regional contact group on Syria that would include key Damascus ally Iran, as well as pro-rebel Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Earlier this month, Morsi vowed to support more than 100,000 Syrian refugees in every possible way until they are able to return home "with dignity" and stressed that among his priorities was that the embattled country remains unified.

Iran's Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, told Al-Ahram newspaper in August that Tehran is keen on establishing relations of "friendship and brotherhood" with Egypt, adding that Iran hoped to restore "normal" ties after relations were terminated in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Mojtaba announced on Sunday that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will head delegation to a summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Cairo.

Tehran broke off relations with Cairo in 1980, a year after both Iran's revolution and Egypt's peace agreement with Israel, but Morsi's visit to the Islamic republic witnessed agreement on reopening official embassies.

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