- Middle East/North Africa
The president is scheduled to meet Thursday with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, who is delivering a message from Iran’s president, presidential spokesperson Yasser Ali said Wednesday.
Salehi is expected to stay for two days, during which he would meet with several officials, including Lakhdar Brahimi, the Arab League and United Nations envoy to Syria.
Ali also said Egypt continues efforts with concerned parties, including Iran and Turkey, to stop the bloodshed in Syria.
He denied that Assistant President for External Relations and International Cooperation Essam al-Haddad met with any Iranian security official, as previous reports had suggested.
Salehi is expected to meet with his Egyptian counterpart, Mohamed Kamel Amr, and Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb. Salehi’s discussions in Cairo are to approach ways of bringing the fighting in Syria to a halt.
Salehi visited Egypt in September and took part in a meeting on Syria held by a four-state committee comprising Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Iran. President Mohamed Morsy had called for the formation of the quartet on the sidelines of an Islamic summit meeting in Tehran.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Ramin Mahmanparast, said Salehi’s visit will focus on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s plans to cease fighting in Syria.
At least 60,000 Syrians have been killed since March 2011 after protests demanding that Assad step down turned into an armed rebellion against his rule.
Egypt officially supports a peaceful power transfer in Syria, where the Alawi regime has tight relations with Shia Iran.