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Egyptian delegation in Tehran for peace talks on Syria

Crescent International

Egyptian leadership is beginning to realize that the Western instigated war in Syria can only be ended through political negotiations.


April 28, 2013, 17:00 EST

Egyptian leadership is beginning to realize that the Western instigated war in Syria can only be ended through political negotiations.

A high-level Egyptian delegation led by Essam al-Haddad, foreign affairs advisor to President Mohamed Morsi, met Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran on Sunday to coordinate steps to bring an end to the conflict in Syria. Before the Egyptian delegation set out from Cairo, President Morsi announced that Iran was an important player that could help bring about an end to the conflict in Syria. He urged political dialogue and reiterated his desire for the quartet—Egypt, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia—to take concrete steps to end the conflict in the war-torn country.

In his meeting with the Egyptian delegation, President Ahmadinejad said Iran and Egypt shared a common stance on the Syrian issue. He also called for stepped-up efforts to resolve the ongoing unrest in Syria through understanding and dialogue. The Iranian president warned that any new government that comes into existence as a result of war and conflict in Syria would mean continued insecurity for a long time to come. “If Syria becomes insecure, the security of other regional countries will be jeopardized and this will threaten the entire region,” Ahmadinejad said.

Following its meeting with the Iranian president, the Egyptian delegation was also received by Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi. He said Tehran was willing to host the meeting on Syria even if Saudi Arabia did not join although he called on Riyadh to join efforts in bringing peace to the long-suffering people of Syria.

Al-Haddad said Egypt calls for fundamental measures to end the ongoing bloodshed and conflict in Syria as soon as possible adding that Iran and Egypt, two major regional players, shoulder the responsibility to settle the crisis in Syria and prevent foreign interference. In the past, President Morsi had demanded resignation of President Bashar al-Asad but in recent weeks, he has tempered such remarks realizing that armed insurrection appears unlikely to overthrow the Damascus government. In an April 27 article in the British daily, the Independent, veteran British journalist Robert Fisk wrote that following his visit to the frontlines of the conflict, he found the Syrian army in high spirits and confident that they are winning the war against external instigated mayhem.

Further evidence of this has emerged from the spike in sectarian violence in Iraq. The terrorists that had flooded into Syria from Iraq are now returning back realizing that they cannot win the war there. Instead, they have increased their criminal activities in Iraq. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki also alluded to this during his April 27 address to an International Conference in Baghdad saying the sectarian violence in his country was foreign instigated.

President Morsi first proposed the four-country contact group during the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Makkah last August. Iran immediately welcomed the move while Turkey offered lukewarm support. Saudi Arabia kept mum, signaling they did not think it was good idea. This has since been confirmed by their absence from high-level meetings between representatives of the Contact Group countries. On September 17, 2012 Saudi Arabia sent low-ranking officials for preparatory talks in Cairo. On February 6, when the presidents of Iran, Egypt and Turkey met in Cairo to advance the dialogue process, the Saudis were conspicuous by their absence. The three leaders called for an immediate solution to the crisis in Syria and an end to the bloodshed.

Meanwhile in Cairo today, a massive demonstration was held condemning foreign interference in Syria. Protesters rallied outside the Israeli and Qatari embassies where they torched the two countries’ flags in protest over their destabilizing role in Syria by fueling the conflict there.

On the other side, Jordan and Turkey have called for the creation of a buffer zone on the Syria-Jordan border where the US and its Nato allies can train Syrian rebels. Washington has admitted that it has 200 troops in Jordan since 2012. The Jordanian regime, however, is not finding it smooth sailing. Jordanians protested today in Amman against US interference in Syria and torched the American flag. Interestingly, they also shouted slogans in support of Bashar al-Asad.


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