Annan arrives in Tehran for talks on regional issues

Updated: 2014-01-26 16:35


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TEHRAN - Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan arrived in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Sunday to hold talks with Iranian officials on regional issues.

Annan, serves now as the chairman of the Elders organization, a group of former global leaders, arrived in Tehran along with former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari, who is also a member of the organization, Press TV reported.

"(The visit is) 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," said the report.

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

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

The Islamic Republic of Iran plays a crucial role in guaranteeing stability in the region, Annan said, adding that "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."