Annan Arrives in Tehran at Start of Middle East Tour

Published June 18th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan arrived early Sunday in Tehran, on the first leg of a Middle East tour, seeking Iran's support for peace in Lebanon, reported AFP Sunday. 

"Iran is an important country in the region and has a role to play," Annan told journalists on his arrival.  

"That is why, as soon as we got down to the Lebanese question we asked the Iranian leaders to work with me, to support me, and thus we worked together," he was quoted as saying. 

Annan was to continue to Cairo, on Monday, then going to Jordan, Israel, the West Bank and Syria. 

Before heading to Tehran, The secretary general made an unplanned stopover in Rabat on Saturday, said The Associated Press. 

Annan held talks with Moroccan King Mohammed VI about the disputed Western Sahara territory and the situation in the Middle East.  

He also met with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, who is currently on an official visit to discuss bilateral ties with Morocco, said AP.  

After meeting with the crown prince, Annan said "we discussed the means to maintain security in Lebanon and in the region."  

Annan's visit to Morocco comes ahead of July 28th-29th talks in London on the disputed Western Sahara territory, AP said.  

The talks - to be headed by Annan's special envoy James Baker - bring together all protagonists in the quarter-century-old dispute – (Several Sources)  

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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