World Bulletin / News Desk
Officials from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran will meet in Cairo on Monday to discuss the Syrian crisis.
Iran is an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad while the three other countries have all called for him to quit power.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr said the meeting of the quartet, under an initiative proposed by Egypt, would gather senior Foreign Ministry officials from the four nations to prepare for higher-ranking talks.
He told reporters a meeting of foreign ministers would take place in Cairo in the "coming days", but did not give a date.
Egypt's Foreign Ministry said Cairo would seek agreement on several points, including stopping violence, ensuring Syria's territorial unity, rejecting any foreign military intervention and launching a political process to achieve the Syrian people's "aspirations for democracy, freedom and dignity."
Asked why Egypt had not called for Assad's isolation, Amr said:"We are still at an early stage. The Foreign Ministry statement lays down the principles of action. In the end we want the interest of the Syrian people and the quickest end to the bloodshed."
Officials at Cairo's airport said former Turkish ambassador to Syria, Omer Onhon, arrived to represent Turkey.
Egypt's state news agency said Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian would represent Iran. It was quoting the head of the Iranian interests section in Cairo.
Egypt and Iran do not have full diplomatic ties but do have interests sections in each others countries staffed by diplomats. Ties were broken after the 1979 Islamic revolution and after Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel the same year.
In August, Mursi made the first visit to Iran by an Egyptian president since the Iranian revolution, taking part in the Non-Aligned Movement summit hosted by Tehran.
In his address in Tehran, while sitting next to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mursi described Assad's government as an "oppressive regime" and said it was an "ethical duty" to support those rebelling against his rule.
Regime offensive comes one day after Turkmen fighters retook control of Kizildag town
Russian planes have carried out at least 12 strikes in the area where Turkey downed their fighter jet
The second pilot who ejected from the fighter jet shot by Turkish forces has been picked up by the Syrian army
Sources report that first pilot was killed by opposition forces who shot at him as he landed after ejecting from the plane
Turkish reports say incident happened in border area between Turkey's southern Hatay province and an area in northwest Syria populated by the Turkic-speaking Turkmen minority
Twin attacks target hotel housing judges tasked with overseeing Egypt’s parliamentary polls
Turkey has condemned the ruthless attacks by Russia and have sent a letter to the UN expressing grave concern about attacks in Bayirbucak Turkmen area in northwestern Syria
Iran calls for international investment as it seeks a greater share of the world's gas market
Russia and Iran have 'unity of views' on Syria, a spokesman for Kremlin says after President Putin held talks in Tehran with supreme leader Khamenei
To avoid crossing paths with Russian planes, France is coordinating with Moscow via the U.S. coalition headquarters in Qatar
Russian president is due to hold talks with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani on the one-day visit
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the army's advance, which it said had been backed by Russian warplanes and military helicopters
Russian missiles launched from the Caspian Sea have caused disruptions to air traffic in the Middle East.
Kerry has scheduled meetings with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and UAE Foreign Minister
At least 97 children are among those who have been killed by Russian strikes which began in late September
Turkey has expressed concern in recent days over Russian air raids in the area, fearing they are aimed at hitting Syrian opposition fighters and bolstering the Assad regime