Persian Gulf States to Talk Out Problems

Persian Gulf States to Talk Out Problems

Iran is due to hold a first round of talks with the six Persian Gulf Arab states by September 22 with the aim of promoting mutual understanding on regional issues, the deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs said.

Hossein Amir Abdollahian said the initiative, dubbed Persian Gulf 7 talks, was proposed by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani during Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's first regional tour after Iran reached a nuclear deal with major powers on July 14, which took him to Persian Gulf Arab countries.  

The venue of the talks has yet to be agreed and announced.
In an article published in several Arab newspapers on August 3, Zarif had called for the establishment of a "regional dialogue forum" to facilitate interaction between regional states to help address common challenges.

"The (Persian Gulf) talks are aimed at clarifying misunderstandings, reaching a common and mutual understanding on ways to tackle current regional crises and helping promote lasting peace, stability and security in the region," Amir Abdollahian said in an interview with ISNA on Friday.

Zarif finished a second round of regional tour yesterday, on which he visited Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan and India.

Amir Abdollahian said consultations on Iran's new proposal to resolve the Syria crisis were high on the agenda of Zarif's meetings on the three-day trip.

***Riyadh Dialogue

He underlined the need for talks between Tehran and Riyadh to help end regional crises, saying, "Given that Iran and Saudi Arabia are neighbors and both Islamic and that they both enjoy a major (regional) position, holding dialogue between the two is a necessity."

The deputy minister denounced as "provocative" the recent remarks by US Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno who said probably the only way to resolve the Iraqi crisis is division of the country into separate administrative regions.

"Iraq's political system has been clearly defined by its constitution and Odierno's comments are provocative, in violation of peace and security in the war-hit country and against the position of its politicians," Amir Abdollahian said.

He reaffirmed Tehran's stance in backing Iraqi national unity and territorial integrity.

Pentagon quoted Odierno as saying in a press conference on Wednesday, "I think (Iraq's reconciliation) is becoming more difficult by the day and I think there might be some alternative solutions that might come sometime in the future, where Iraq might not look like what it did in past."

"(Partition) is something that could happen and might be the only solution, but I am not ready to say that," he added.

Elsewhere, Amir Abdollahian expressed Tehran's strong opposition to the idea of establishing a buffer zone in Syria along the Arab country's border with Turkey.

"Setting up a buffer zone on Syrian soil is a violation of the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty," the deputy minister told Fars News Agency, warning that the move would only lead to an "escalation of the situation in the region."  


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