Iran, Egypt and Turkey to convene on Islamic summit sidelines

Iran, Egypt and Turkey to convene on Islamic summit sidelines

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Wed, 06/02/2013 - 13:26

Iran, Egypt and Turkey will hold a tripartite meeting on the sidelines of the 12th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Cairo on either Wednesday or Thursday, according to Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi.

Salehi said in press statements that the meeting will tackle an initiative by Syrian opposition leader Moaz al-Khatib to solve the Syrian conflict.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr said communications are ongoing with Saudi Arabia to brief the kingdom on Khatib's initiative. He did not, however, say whether or not Saudi Arabia would attend the summit, which begins today.

Egypt, Iran and Turkey are represented in the 57-state summit by their presidents.

Saudi Arabia had previously declined to attend the latest meeting on Khatib's initiative, which proposes an agreement granting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a safe exit without trial.

The initiative also suggests negotiations with authorized regime representatives who have not been involved in the crackdown on protests against Assad's rule.

The OIC summit is being held amid disagreements between Iran and other Arab states over potential solutions to end civil war in Syria, where more than 60,000 have been killed since March 2011 in a regime crackdown on protests demanding Assad step down.

Shia Iran has been a staunch ally of Assad's Syrian Alawi regime. Egypt and Turkey, on the other hand, support a peaceful political transition in Syria.

Syria is not represented in the current summit, as its OIC membership has been suspended since last August.