Continuing efforts to foster stability in Iraq UN envoy visits Iran

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Ashraf Qazi, who at the end of last month conferred with Syrian officials in Damascus and Saudi leaders in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, and last week met with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in Ankara, held talks yesterday with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouschehr Mottaki. “Mr. Qazi discussed with Mr. Mottakki recent developments in Iraq and the important role the neighbouring states can play in reducing violence and promoting stability in the country,” the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) said in a statement. Today he held further discussions with Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mehdi Araghchi. “The Iranian authorities raised their concern for the need to identify constructive solutions to Iraq’s current difficulties. In this context they also raised the issue pertaining to the detention of Iranian diplomats in Iraq,” the statement added. “Mr. Qazi stressed the need for greater regional engagement to bolster efforts aimed at promoting dialogue, reconciliation and consensus building in Iraq.” The meeting in Teheran is part of Mr. Qazi’s regional tour intended to learn the views and perceptions of the governments of the region and explore the different options available for these governments through which they can enhance Iraq’s stability and regional reintegration, UNAMI noted. 20 February 2007The top United Nations envoy to Iraq is paying a two-day visit to Iran as part of his ongoing efforts to muster regional support to bring stability to the war-torn country, the fourth such visit he has made in as many weeks.

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