Iran to host Syrian friends conference

TEHRAN (ISNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said Tehran will host Syrian friends meeting late May.

“We have invited some countries to join the conference and God willing the meeting will be held on May 29 based on the planning made. We hope that a large number of officials of different countries would join the conference,” Salehi told reporters on the sidelines of the cabinet meeting.

Elsewhere, Salehi referred to his recent trip to Saudi Arabia, and said he had discussed regional and international issues as well as issues of mutual interests between Tehran and Riyadh with his Saudi counterpart Saud al-Faisal.

“God willing a new page will be opened in Iran-Saudi bilateral relations. The disagreements will be removed with continuous consultations. God willing you will see that bilateral ties between the two countries will be expanded further,” he added.

Salehi arrived in Jeddah earlier on Sunday to attend the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) foreign ministerial meeting.

The foreign ministers of the OIC contact group on Mali discussed the crisis in Mali and conferred on ways to help settle the problems in the African country.

Before leaving Tehran, Salehi said he will brief the participants on Iran’s viewpoints about the crisis in Mali, and will also hold meetings with a number of officials of the OIC member states.

On February 1, Amnesty International said “serious human rights breaches” – including the killing of children – were occurring in the French war in Mali.

Chaos broke out in the West African country after Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure was toppled in a military coup on March 22, 2012. The coup leaders said they mounted the coup in response to the government’s inability to contain the Tuareg rebellion in the North of the country, which had been going on for two months.

However, in the wake of the coup d’état, the Tuareg rebels took control of the entire Northern desert region, but the Ansar Dine extremists then pushed them aside and took control of the region, which is larger than France or Texas.



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