Elders to visit Iran to promote dialogue with West
Published Sunday 26/01/2014 (updated) 28/01/2014 11:31
Elders member and former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan speaks in
Guetersloh, western Germany on Nov. 7, 2013 (DPA/AFP/File Caroline Seidel)
TEHRAN (AFP) -- A group of former global leaders known as the Elders, tasked with encouraging dialogue between Iran and the international community, is due to arrive in Tehran Sunday, their website said.
The group, formed in 2007, is made up of twelve global leaders who try "to promote peace, justice and human rights," according to their website.
The group sees "recent positive developments as a historic and strategic opportunity to end decades of animosity between Iran and the international community," the statement published on Saturday said.
But it added "trust will only be built slowly, through continued goodwill and reciprocal action."
During the visit, the Elders "will exchange ideas with the Iranian leadership about peaceful ways of addressing conflict."
The group will be headed by former UN secretary-general and Nobel Peace laureate Kofi Annan, and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif confirmed on Facebook on Saturday he would host the delegation.
President Hassan Rouhani won last year's presidential elections with promises of a more diplomatic approach to the West.
Iran and major world powers clinched a historic nuclear deal in November, when Tehran agreed to curb parts of its nuclear program for six months in exchange for modest sanctions relief and a promise by Western powers not to impose new sanctions.