Iranian FM Ali Akbar Salehi (centre) arrives for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit in Jeddah
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi (centre) briefs the press upon his arrival for an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in the Saudi city of Jeddah. © Fayez Nureldine - AFP
Iranian FM Ali Akbar Salehi (centre) arrives for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit in Jeddah
AFP
Last updated: August 13, 2012

Iran opposed to suspending Syria membership in OIC

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Monday said his country opposed the expected suspension of Syria's membership in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

"I'm openly against the suspension of the membership of any country, any organisation," Salehi told reporters in Jeddah, seat of the 57-strong OIC of which allies Iran and Syria are members.

"By suspending the membership, this does not mean you are moving towards resolving an issue. By this, you are erasing the issue," he said of the 17-month Syria conflict,

"Every country, especially OIC countries must join hands to resolve this issue in such a way that will help the peace security and stability in the region," he added on the eve of an OIC summit in Saudi Arabia.

The secretary general of the OIC, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, has told AFP that war-ravaged Syria will not be represented in the summit.

But foreign ministers gathered Monday to prepare the meeting were expected to "announce the suspension of Syria's membership as recommended by member states," Ihsanoglu said.

Tuesday's summit has been called by Saudi King Abdullah who is pushing to mobilise support for Syrian rebels battling the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Iran is Assad's key supporter and has repeatedly warned against intervention in the 17-month conflict that has killed more than 21,000 people, according to monitoring groups.

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