Muslim leaders urge Syria dialogue

Muslim leaders urge Syria dialogue
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Three-way talks aimed at finding a solution to the Syria conflict have been held on the sidelines of a meeting of Muslim countries.

The leaders of Egypt, Turkey and Iran met at the
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit in Egypt on Thursday.

Tehran is adamant that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should be part of any transition process with the opposition, but Egypt and Turkey are vehemently opposed.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said: “We hope to reach a solution on Syria. Everyone is trying to achieve a halt in the violence; all of us including the opposition and the rest of the world. I hope that the four countries Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and Iran will be able to reach at least a road map on this.”

Yemen’s foreign minister Abu Bakr al Kurbi backed a wider joint statement calling for peace talks without Assad and his inner circle:

“The ongoing violence in Syria will not only damage the country irreversibly. But it will also affect the Syria’s relationship with other countries,” al Kurbi said.

Despite an opposing position on Syria, a day earlier Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
attempted to rebuild relations with old foe Egypt. He called on Egyptian leader Mohamed Mursi to form a strategic alliance with Tehran.

On the first visit to Cairo by an Iranian leader in more than three decades, he said outside forces were stopping the two nations becoming allies.

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