New Syria FM to make first foreign trip to Iran

December 6, 2020 - 22:3

TEHRAN – Faisal Mekdad, the newly-appointed foreign minister of Syria, will make his first foreign visit to Tehran to hold talks with senior Iranian officials, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement that the top Syrian diplomat will meet with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday. The spokesman also said that Mekdad will meet other Iranian officials.

Mekdad was appointed on November 22 as Syria’s foreign minister after the death of the country’s foreign minister Walid al-Muallem. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued presidential decrees appointing Mekdad as foreign minister, Bashar al-Jaafari as deputy foreign minister, and Bassam al-Sabbagh as Syria’s permanent representative to the United Nations.

Former Syrian Foreign Minister al-Muallem, who had served as Syria’s top diplomat since 2006, passed away on 16 November at the age of 79. Iran expressed sympathy with the people and government of Syria over the passing of al-Muallem. In a message addressed to Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Syrian Arab Republic Hossein Arnous, Zarif expressed condolences on the passing of Foreign Minister Muallem.

“I received the news of the passing of the late Walid al-Muallem, Syria’s Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, and with great regret and sadness,” Zarif said in the message.

Zarif also spoke by phone with Mekdad two days after his appointment as Syria’s foreign minister.

“During the phone call, the top Iranian diplomat congratulated Mekdad on being appointed as the foreign minister of the Syrian Arab Republic. He once again offered condolences on the demise of Walid al-Muallem, the former foreign minister of Syria, and underlined the continuation of strategic cooperation between Tehran and Damascus,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.


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