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Sunday, 11 January 2009

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Iran calls on Brazil’s Lula to join efforts

Iran called on President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and “reliable people” such as he to help “correct the flaws” of diplomacy in the Middle East, the Iranian embassy said Friday.

Iranian Cooperatives Minister Mohammad Abbasi handed to the Brazilian leader a message related to Israel’s military campaign in the Gaza Strip that condemned “the regime occupying Palestine, which attacks the defenseless people of Gaza ... and international efforts to end this crisis,” Iran’s embassy in Brasilia told AFP.“

The involvement of new, reliable figures” in diplomatic attempts, such as Lula and his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, “could correct the faults committed by traditional intermediaries, including the United States,” the message said.

Upon receiving Abbasi, Lula’s foreign affairs advisor Marco Aurelio Garcia reiterated Brazil’s position on the conflict, calling for an “immediate end to hostilities on both sides.”

The Iranian president has sent emissaries to 22 countries to join its call for the immediate end to Israel’s assault on the coastal strip and an end to the Israeli blockade on Gaza initiated after the Islamist movement Hamas seized control of the territory in June 2007 from forces loyal to moderate Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

The two-week conflict has left over 800 Palestinians dead, according to Gaza medics. Tanks and warplanes continued to pound Gaza Friday as a defiant Israel vowed to pursue its war on the Islamist movement Hamas, which rules the territory, despite a truce order from the UN Security Council and amid warnings of dwindling food supplies.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon called Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Friday to express his disappointment at Israel’s defiance of the Council’s call to halt Israel’s military operation against Hamas, a UN spokesperson said. (AFP)

 

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