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Iranian foreign minister arrives in Damascus

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Iranian foreign minister arrives in Damascus
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Damascus: Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi arrived in Damascus today for talks with President Bashar al-Assad after proposing earlier this week sending regional observers to the war-torn country.

Salehi told journalists he would also meet his Syrian counterpart, Walid Muallem.

His visit comes on the heels of a meeting in Cairo on Monday of a regional "contact group" on Syria also attended by UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.

Salehi appealed yesterday for "a simultaneous halt in clashes and violence by the sides in Syria, insisted on a peaceful solution without foreign intervention and a halt to financial, military and training support for the Syrian opposition."

Tehran is proposing that the contact group of four countries - Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey - dispatch observers to Syria in an effort to quell the violence.

Iran, which is closely allied to Damascus, has strenuously denied accusations it is providing military aid to Assad's regime.

In turn, it has accused the West and several regional countries - notably Saudi Arabia and Turkey - of providing military and financial assistance to Syrian rebels.

PTI

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