On Friday, 31 August, the Secretary-General had a number of meetings while in Tehran, on the margins of the Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.
He had a meeting with H.E. Dr. Nabil El-Araby, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States. They discussed at length recent developments concerning Syria, including the intensified violence and mounting humanitarian crisis. The UN Secretary-General expressed his deep concern about the suffering of the civilian population and the lack of progress toward ending the violence and starting a political dialogue. He thanked the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States for his organization's close cooperation with the UN on Syria, including through the appointment of the UN-League of Arab States Joint Special Representative, Lakhdar Brahimi.
The Secretary-General met the Foreign Minister of Mali, H.E. Mr. Tieman Coulibaly. The Secretary-General congratulated the Minister on his recent appointment. He said he hoped that the remaining transitional mechanisms announced by the Interim President would soon be in place to allow for a swift and full restoration of state authority and the territorial integrity of the country.
The Secretary-General also met the President of Mongolia, H.E. Mr Elbegdorj Tsakhia. The Secretary-General thanked the President for Mongolia's strong contribution to UN peacekeeping. He also congratulated Mongolia on the recent successful and peaceful elections that also resulted in increased representation for women. They also discussed recent political and economic developments in the country.
In a meeting with the President of the Palestinian National Authority, H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, the Secretary-General reiterated that the Quartet regard Mr. Abbas as a genuine partner for peace and stand read to support his efforts. They shared concerns about the standstill in the Middle East Peace Process. He said it was important to find ways to create the conditions conducive for progress.
The Secretary-General also met with the Prime Minister of Syria, H.E. Dr Wael Nader al-Halqui, and the Syrian Foreign Minister, H.E. Mr Walid Al-Moualem. The Secretary-General urged Syria to allow a greater number of humanitarian partners to operate so that aid can reach those who so desperately need it. He said he was extremely concerned about the extent of destruction in Syria and the scale of civilian suffering. He reiterated that violence from all sides must stop immediately so that a political solution can be found. Noting his opposition to further militarisation of the conflict, he said he was once more calling on all states to refrain from providing arms to either side in Syria. He again urged the Syrian authorities to stop using heavy weapons. He said he counted on Syria to provide full support to the new Joint Special Representative, Lakhdar Brahimi.