Iran, which currently chairs the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), has expressed readiness to help resolve the ongoing crisis in the African country of Mali, Press TV reported.
"As the head of NAM, Iran is ready to cooperate with the African Union (AU) to resolve the crisis in Mali," Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa on Saturday.
The Iranian foreign minister added that Tehran would make efforts to pave the way for cooperation between NAM and AU.
Salehi arrived in Addis Ababa on Saturday and was welcomed by officials from the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry and the Iranian Ambassador Ali Bahraini.
AU Commission Chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma had invited Salehi to attend the 20th AU summit, which is being held on January 27 and 28.
Referring to the activities of extremist groups and the military interference in Mali, Salehi said, The Islamic Republic is against extremism, interference in the domestic affairs of countries and military intervention.
Salehi further criticized the approach of the Western countries toward extremist groups as double standard and paradoxical, saying, "The West supports extremist groups in Syria but opposes these groups in Mali."
On January 11, France launched the war in Mali under the pretext of halting the advance of the fighters who control the north of the African country. It has already deployed 2,300 troops to the West African country.
Salehi said in an interview with Press TV that Iran seeks "stability and peace in African countries because in the long run this would not only be in the interest of African countries but also the international community."
"So we are doing our best to reach out to people in Africa, not only as Iran but also as the [head of the] Non-Aligned Movement," he added.