Japan, Iran foreign ministers to discuss Syria on U.N. fringes

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday he plans to discuss the Syria conflict individually with his counterparts from Iran, Britain, France, Germany, Australia and Egypt on the fringes of a U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York next week.

"I hope to discuss with the foreign ministers from each of the countries the Syrian affairs, which are currently an important issue in the international community, and seek their understanding of Japan's positions on regional affairs and global issues," Kishida told a news conference.

Kishida is expected to separately confirm with British Foreign Secretary William Hague and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius close bilateral coordination on a framework proposed by the United States and Russia to rid Syria of its chemical weapons.

Kishida is also believed to discuss Iran's nuclear issue with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Kishida's predecessor, Koichiro Gemba, also sat down for talks with his then Iranian counterpart on the sidelines of the annual gathering of the U.N. General Assembly in September last year.

During his visit to New York from Monday through Friday, Kishida plans to attend a series of multilateral events, such as a meeting of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative, and a meeting on the international development agenda beyond 2015 known as the Post-Millennium Development Goals.