Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi is due to discuss the Syrian crisis and President Bashar al-Assad’s peace plan with Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi during his upcoming visit to Cairo, a senior Iranian diplomat revealed on Wednesday.
“Ali Akbar Salehi will meet President Mohammad Mursi and his Egyptian counterpart Mohammad Kamel Amr during his Cairo visit and after that will hold meetings with UN-Arab League Peace Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and certain other Egyptian figures,” Head of Tehran’s Interests Section in Cairo Mojtaba Amani said in an interview with Asharq Alawsat newspaper.
He called the trip as important, and said during the visit, Salehi will consult with the Egyptian officials on Syria and the three-staged peace plan proposed by President Assad to settle the present crisis in his country.
In a speech in Central Damascus on Sunday, President Assad called for a reconciliation conference with “those who have not betrayed Syria”, to be followed by the formation of a new government and an amnesty.
“The first stage of a political solution would require that regional powers stop funding and arming (the opposition), an end to terrorist operations and controlling the borders,” he said.
“We will not have dialogue with a puppet made by the West,” he said.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed gangs against Syrian police forces and border guards being reported across the country.
The US and its western and regional allies have long sought to topple Assad and his ruling system. Media reports said that the Syrian rebels and terrorist groups have received significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, a crime paid for by the Persian Gulf Arab states and coordinated by the United States.
The US daily, Washington Post, reported in May that the Syrian rebels and terrorist groups battling the President Bashar al-Assad’s government have received significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, a crime paid for by the Persian Gulf Arab states and coordinated by the United States.
The newspaper, quoting opposition activists and US and foreign officials, reported that Obama administration officials emphasized the administration has expanded contacts with opposition military forces to provide the Persian Gulf nations with assessments of rebel credibility and command-and-control infrastructure.
Opposition activists who several months ago said the rebels were running out of ammunition said in May that the flow of weapons – most bought on the black market in neighboring countries or from elements of the Syrian military in the past – has significantly increased after a decision by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Persian Gulf states to provide millions of dollars in funding each month.