Assistant to the President on Foreign Relations and International Cooperation Essam El-Haddad said that coordination is ongoing to hold a meeting at the ministerial level on the Syrian crisis, according to London-based Asharq Al-Awsat.
The meeting comes as part of the Egyptian-led quartet initiative, which includes Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey and aims to find a solution to the Syrian crisis.
On the possibility of a quartet summit, El-Haddad said: “We are now preparing for the ministerial meeting first.” He added that the meeting will be held soon.
President Morsi proposed the quartet initiative during the Islamic Summit held in Mecca in August 2012 to try to solve the Syrian crisis.
“The idea of a quartet initiative that includes Iran indicates that Egypt is aware of the importance of Iran as a regional power” said Mohamed Abbas Nagy, a specialist in Iranian affairs at the Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies.
He added that international initiatives usually ignore Iran and said that this was a problematic strategy. “Iran supports the Syrian regime and that’s the reason the crisis is still ongoing.”
“It’s difficult for the quartet to find solutions,” Nagy said adding that Iran had shown no support for a solution that could lead to the fall of Syria’s ruling regime.
“Saudi Arabia and Turkey support the Syrian opposition, Iran supports Bashar Al-Assad’s regime. Egypt is trying to play the role of the mediator, but leans more towards the Saudi-Turkish stance,” Nagy said.
He added that Egypt and Iran both want to solve the crisis diplomatically without military intervention.
El-Haddad, along with the presidency’s chief of staff Rifa’a Al-Tahtawi, visited Iran on Saturday to discuss the initiative.
A few days before the visit, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Kamel Amr had spoken with his Iranian counterpart to discuss developments in the Syrian crisis. The ministers agreed to stay in touch on the issue.