Media advisory: The Elders to visit Iran from 26-29 January 2014

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Saturday, 25 January, 2014
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Kofi Annan, Martti Ahtisaari, Desmond Tutu and Ernesto Zedillo travel to Tehran to discuss Iran's relations with the international community.

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Four members of The Elders will travel to Tehran on Sunday 26 January for a series of private meetings with the Iranian leadership. It will be The Elders’ first visit to Iran as a group.

Ernesto Zedillo, Kofi Annan, Desmond Tutu and Martti Ahtisaari arrive in Tehran

Ernesto Zedillo, Kofi Annan, Desmond Tutu and Martti Ahtisaari arrive in Tehran, 26 January 2014. 

The Elders travelling to Iran are:

  • Kofi Annan, Chair of the Elders, former UN Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Laureate – delegation leader;
  • Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Laureate;
  • Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town and Nobel Peace Laureate;
  • Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico.

Brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007, the Elders are twelve independent global leaders who use their collective influence and experience to promote peace, justice and human rights worldwide.

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 Elders see the recent positive developments as a historic and strategic opportunity to end decades of animosity between Iran and the international community and to rebuild relations on the basis of trust and mutual respect. They recognise, however, that trust will only be built slowly, through continued goodwill and reciprocal action.

The Elders will exchange ideas with the Iranian leadership about peaceful ways of addressing conflict and healing sectarian divisions in the region.

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