Egypt to host meeting of regional states over Syria crisis

September 10, 2012 16:41

CAIRO - Officials from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran will meet in Cairo on Monday to discuss the Syrian crisis, but analysts said the regional powers were unlikely to agree on any tangible steps.

Iran is a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, who is fighting an uprising against his rule, while the three other countries have all called for him to quit power.

Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran have tussled for influence in recent years in sectarian conflicts across the Middle East. Tehran accuses regional states like Saudi Arabia and Turkey of assisting Syrian rebels fighting to topple Assad.

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.

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