Ex-UN Chief, Zarif Discuss Mideast Crisis

Ex-UN Chief, Zarif Discuss Mideast Crisis Ex-UN Chief, Zarif Discuss Mideast Crisis

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, discussed Middle East conflicts with the former UN secretary general, Kofi Anan, on the sidelines of a peace mediation conference in the Norwegian capital.

In the Tuesday meeting, the two sides talked about the latest developments in the six-year conflict in Syria and the recent unprecedented political crisis in the Persian Gulf involving Qatar and its Arab allies.

"All countries would be losers if conditions in the region continue to worsen," IRNA quoted Anan as saying.

Zarif said Iran is ready to give a helping hand to Qatar, its tiny southern neighbor facing a Saudi-led push to isolate it over friendship with Tehran and alleged support for terrorism.

"Iran would respond to Qatari requests for humanitarian assistance and essential [goods] in this situation," he said.

The ongoing crisis started on June 5, when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar and suspended all land, air and sea traffic with the Arab emirate.

Iran has called on the sides of the feud to engage in dialogue to patch up their differences, and is currently sending food to Qatar.

Zarif arrived in Norway Monday to participate in the Oslo Forum, an annual conference featuring panel discussions, debates and roundtable sessions on ways to promote international peace.

The two-day event themed "peace-making in the new era of geopolitics" was opened on Tuesday by Zarif, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, former US secretary of state John Kerry, Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende and Indonesia's top diplomat Retno Marsudi.  

During his stay in Oslo, Zarif conferred with Mogherini, Brende, Marsudi, and foreign ministers from Kenya, Bosnia, Slovakia and Croatia.


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