World Bulletin / News Desk
New U.N.-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi will visit Iran after a fact-finding trip to Syria itself, an official in the Iranian Foreign Ministry was quoted as saying on Sunday.
Brahimi, a veteran Algerian diplomat, succeeded Kofi Annan as envoy this month and has said he would talk to Iran as he tries to push forward with his difficult quest to end the 17-month-old conflict in Syria.
In Geneva, Brahimi's spokesman Ahmad Fawzi told Reuters that the U.N. envoy planned to visit Syria soon but there were no plans for travel to Iran.
Brahimi was in Cairo on Sunday for three days of talks with the Arab League and Egyptian officials.
Iran's Mehr news agency quoted Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi as saying Brahimi would visit Tehran, following a phone conversation Brahimi had conducted on Saturday evening with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi.
"It is planned for Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N.'s envoy to Syria, to travel to Tehran," Araqchi said.
Brahimi's predecessor Kofi Annan resigned in August after blaming "finger-pointing and name-calling" at the U.N. Security Council for hampering his efforts to broker a solution to the Syrian crisis.
He too had said Iran should be involved in efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Syria crisis despite the West's firm rejection of any such role.
But Annan said Iran, along with Russia and China, "must take concerted efforts to persuade Syria's leadership to change course and embrace a political transition."
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Topics expected to be discussed include on-going peace talks with ethnic rebel groups, national reconciliation and reforms.