Velayati: Iran, Russia have ‘common interest’ in Syrian victory over terrorism

February 3, 2016 - 0:0

TEHRAN - Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, has said that Iran and Russia share “common interest” in victory of Syria against terrorism, saying victory in this battle is “vital”.

Syria’s victory can also benefit Iraq and Turkey, Velayati said during a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday with Aleksey Pushkov, the head of Duma’s Foreign Relations Committee.

“One of the examples of common interest of Iran and Russia is the Syrian issue and that victory in this battlefield is vital and it can meet the interests and territorial integrity of regional countries such as Turkey and Iraq and bring stability and peace to the region,” Velayati noted.

Velayati also said extremism is spreading to “Central Asia and western China” and cooperation between Iran and Russia play an “important and positive” role in countering extremism.

He also described Iran-Russia relations as “long term and strategic” and called for expansion of economic ties. He said the two countries also face “common threats”.

“The path of long-term and strategic cooperation between the two countries is irreversible,” noted Velyati, a former foreign minister who is currently the chairman of the Centre for Strategic Research at the Expediency Council.

Velayati was visiting Moscow on the invitation of Russian Strategic Research Institute’s director Leonid Reshetnikov.

Velayati also held a separate meeting with Alexander Lavrentiev, Russia’s special envoy on Syria, on Monday in which they highlighted the importance of resolving the Syrian crisis through inter-Syrian dialogue.

The Iranian and Russian officials also said that the Syrian people should determine their destiny.

Syria has been caught in a civil war since March 2011, with terrorist groups such as Daesh (ISIL) controlling parts of the country, mostly in the east.

Over the past five years more than 250,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Syria. Eleven million others have fled their homes