Kofi Annan in Tehran to talk with Iranian officials

Photo: Kofi Annan in Tehran to talk with Iranian officials / Iran

Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has arrived in the Iranian capital Tehran to hold talks with Iranian officials on a range of regional issues, Press TV reported.

Early on Sunday, the former UN chief, who is also the chairman of the Elders organization, arrived in Tehran along with former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, who is also a member of the organization, IRNA reported.

Other members of the organization, South Africa's Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town and former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, will also join their colleagues.

Prior to Annan's arrival, the organization's website said the purpose of the three-day visit was "to encourage and advance the new spirit of openness and dialogue between Iran and the international community, and to explore what could be done to enhance cooperation on regional issues."

The Elders' officials will hold meetings with Iranian authorities about "peaceful ways of addressing conflict and healing sectarian divisions," in the Middle East.

The Elders is an international NGO of public figures brought together by late South African leader Nelson Mandela in 2007.

On Saturday, Annan said the Islamic Republic of Iran plays a crucial role in guaranteeing stability in the region.

"If we are going to have peace and stability in the Middle East, it is essential that Iran plays its natural role in the region," he said.

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