Jan 27, 2014, 7:23 PM
News Code: 2626641
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Rafsanjani calls on the Elders to help reduce global violence

Tehran, Jan 27, IRNA – Chairman of the Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said on Monday that internationally respected figures are expected to take initiative to reduce violence in the international community.

In a meeting with former UN chief Kofi Annan who is on a visit to Tehran at the head of a group of ex-global leaders known as the Elders, Ayatollah Rafsanjani appreciated peace-seeking efforts by late South African anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela who was the founder of the Elders.

He accused global arrogance for being behind the bloody conflicts across the world, particularly in the Middle East, saying the flames they have ignited will spread to their own countries.

The former secretary-general of the United Nations, for his part, appreciated Iran’s peace efforts in the region and said that he acknowledges influence of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Middle East.

He said that anyone who tries to ignore Iran’s role in making peace in the region will achieve nothing.

When asked by Ayatollah Rafsanjani why he had stopped his mediation efforts in Syria, Annan said UN measures in Syria failed as many countries forgot commitments they had made on the paper.

On conflicts in some African countries, Annan said, “We will initiate peace efforts in Africa to ensure the African people not to fall victim to ethnic and sectarian conflicts any more.”

Martti Ahtisaari, a former president of Finland, South Africa’s Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu and Mexican ex-president Ernesto Zedillo are accompanying Annan during his three-day visit to Tehran.