Rouhani: Astana peace talks can protect Syrian territorial integrity

December 8, 2020 - 16:12

TEHRAN — President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday hailed the Astana peace talks, which aims to end the Syrian conflict, saying the peace process can preserve the interests and territorial integrity of Syria.

“The Tehran-Damascus relations were established after the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran and during the lifetime of Imam [Khomeini] and Mr. Hafez Assad, and today, with the will and decision of the officials of the two countries, these relations continue to be strengthened,” Rouhani said during a meeting with visiting Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad.

Mekdad arrived in Tehran on Sunday evening in his first visit to Iran since assuming office after the demise of his predecessor Walid Muallem.

Rouhani terms Syria as a ‘strategic ally’

Rouhani pledged that the Islamic Republic will stand by the Syrian people and government wholeheartedly, describing Syria as a “strategic ally”.

He said confronting the Zionist regime and terrorism was a “common goal of the two countries”, adding, “There is no doubt that we must continue our resistance and perseverance until the complete annihilation of terrorists from the region.”

The president drew a comparison between terrorism and sanctions, saying both are intended to put pressure on the legitimate and independent nations and governments of the region.

“We fully understand the situation of the Syrian people in the face of sanctions, because we have experienced the worst sanctions in the last three years,” he added.

The Syrian foreign minister, for his part, described the Tehran-Damascus relations as one of the most valuable and honorable political relations in the world.

“We believe that other countries should learn how to build a real relationship and friendship and how such friendly ties can be continued strongly,” he added.

 ‘U.S. after looting Syria’s oil,’ says top security official

Mekdad also met with secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani and Defense Minister Amir Hatami separately on Tuesday.

Shamkhani said during his meeting with the chief Syrian diplomat that the U.S.’s presence in Syria is aimed at looting Syria’s oil, protecting the Zionist regime, and expanding the Daesh terrorist cells in the region.

“The evil presence of the United States in the region must end,” he asserted.

He lauded Syria for its resistance against the Zionist regime’s occupation and expansionism and highlighted the importance of deepening Tehran-Damascus ties.

Hatami: Iran firm to continue cooperation in Syria reconstruction

Brigadier General Hatami underlined Iran’s strong will to continue to cooperate with Syria in its reconstruction process.

He said the enemy has not refrained from any action against the Iranian nation, adding, “This has also been the case with regard to Syria in recent years.”

Hatami also referred to the cowardly assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror general Qassem Soleimani earlier this year and the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh late in November, saying such hostile actions are taken by the enemy out of desperation.

Ghalibaf slams Israel as a source of regional instability

Late on Monday, Mekdad also met with Majlis Speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf. During the meeting, Ghalibaf condemned the Israeli regime as a source of instability in the region.

“As long as the occupying terrorist regime of al-Quds is present, there will be no sustainable security in the region,” Ghalibaf said.

Pointing to recent normalization deals between Israel and some regional countries, Ghalibaf called on the Muslim world to stand up to the U.S.-backed normalizations and condemn such moves as an “abominable act”.

He said that only through resistance the Islamic community will emerge victorious against the enemies.

The speaker added that resistance, together with the Astana peace talks, can lead to sustainable peace and security in Syria and the region.

For his part, Mekdad expressed his condolences over the assassination of Fakhrizadeh, who was martyred near Tehran on November 27.

“The assassination of Martyr General Soleimani and Dr. Fakhrizadeh once again exposed the true face of the Zionist regime and the U.S. as sponsors of terrorism,” he said, adding that the targeted killings were “not something that can be easily overlooked.”

MH/PA

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