Annan Due in Tehran Sunday

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan along with three other world figures are due to arrive in Tehran on Sunday.

Annan Due in Tehran Sunday

Former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Laureate Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo, and retired South African Anglican bishop Desmond Tutu will accompany Annan in the three-day visit, according to a statement carried by The Elders’ website.

The four are members of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders who work together for peace and human rights. They were brought together in 2007 by Nelson Mandela.

The delegation is traveling to Tehran to meet with Iranian officials.

“The purpose of the three-day visit is to encourage and advance the new spirit of openness and dialogue between Iran and the international community, and to explore what could be done to enhance cooperation on regional issues,” the statement said.

It added that the delegation would exchange ideas with the Iranian leadership about peaceful ways of addressing conflict and healing sectarian divisions in the region.

The goal Mandela set for the Elders was to use their "almost 1,000 years of collective experience" to work on solutions for seemingly insurmountable problems such as climate change, HIV/AIDS, and poverty, as well as to “use their political independence to help resolve some of the world's most intractable conflicts”.

The Elders is currently chaired by Kofi Annan and consists of eleven Elders and one honorary Elder.

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