Iran FM holds talks with Syria leaders

August 30, 2021 - 19:2

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian paid a visit to Syria on Sunday right after taking part in a regional summit in Baghdad to which Syria was not invited. 

In his first visit to Syria as foreign minister of Iran, Abdollahian met with his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad and President Bashar Assad. 

During his meeting with Mekdad, Abdollahian expressed his satisfaction with his first visit to Syria as Iran’s minister of foreign affairs and announced the Islamic Republic’s support for the Arab country, according to a statement by the Iranian Foreign Ministry. 

He thanked Syria for its position as an effective member at the forefront of the resistance.

Abdollahian congratulated Syria on holding a successful presidential election and said Syria today has entered the economic and reconstruction stage and has also paved the way for the return of refugees.

He stressed the necessity of cooperation between the two countries at the level of the Joint Cooperation Commission and also the High Joint Commission formed by the two countries.

The Syrian foreign minister also once again congratulated Abdollahian on his appointment as Iran’s foreign minister after being endorsed by the Iranian Parliament.

Faisal Mekdad described the formation of a new administration in the Islamic Republic of Iran and Tehran’s support for the Syrian government and people as very valuable.

He said the continuation of cooperation between Iran and Syria in different areas is highly important.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry said Abdollahian visited Damascus to discuss “economic terrorism.”

In a statement on Sunday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said, “Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian arrived in Damascus today on a visit to hold talks with senior state officials on developments in the region and strengthening bilateral relations in the face of pressures on the two countries.”

In a statement to reporters upon his arrival at Damascus International Airport, Abdollahian said, “We are here in Damascus to review economic, commercial and cultural relations and relations in all areas of common interest. We are fully confident that the two countries will work together with giant steps to confront economic terrorism and relieve pressure on our peoples.”

Abdollahian pointed out that the relations between Tehran, Damascus and Baghdad are strategic.

For his part, Mekdad said during his meeting with the visiting minister that the two sides planned to discuss important issues related to relations between the two countries, the situation in the region and the international situation, especially after the recent developments in Afghanistan. He extended his warm congratulations to Abdollahian on his assumption of the position of minister of foreign affairs.

Syrian state news agency SANA reported that the two ministers discussed a number of issues related to bilateral cooperation, especially in the political and economic fields, as they agreed to enhance efforts to implement what was agreed upon regarding this cooperation, in order to bring bilateral relations to the level that the peoples of the two countries aspire for.

Regarding Iran’s participation in the Baghdad summit, Minister Abdollahian stressed that Iran’s stance was clear from the beginning, during and after the summit regarding the importance of coordination with Syria in all issues relating to the region, and that Iran has always been and still calls for coordination to be a key factor in the stability and prosperity of the region, SANA added. 

Abdollahian objected to the exclusion of Syria before and during the Baghdad summit. “We believe that Syria, as one of Iraq’s important neighboring countries, should have been invited to this meeting, too,” said Abdollahian before leaving Tehran for Baghdad.

During the summit, Abdollahian once again alluded to Syria’s absence. “I would like to emphasize the role and support of regional nations in stabilizing and resorting security to Iraq including the friendly and brotherly country of the Syrian Arab Republic. I would like to express regret that Syria is not attending this summit,” he remarked.

In Damascus, Abdollahian also met with President Assad. The Iranian Foreign Ministry said the talks included issues of mutual interest. 

At the meeting, Abdollahian congratulated Assad on holding a successful presidential election. He also hailed the political, international and battlefield victories of Syria and extended top Iranian officials’ greetings to the Syrian president. He also briefed Assad on the Iraqi summit in which he attended a day before, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. 

Iran’s chief diplomat referred to the economic cooperation between Iran and Syria, highlighting the need for activating the Joint Commission of Economic Cooperation and other existing related mechanisms.

 The Syrian president also expressed pleasure at Iran’s support for his country and outlined his views on bilateral ties and also cooperation between Tehran and Damascus regarding regional and international issues.

According to Syria’s official SANA news agency, Assad discussed with Abdollahian the strategic relations between the two countries in addition to regional and international developments.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed steps taken by the two countries to enhance bilateral cooperation with the aim of reaching a higher level of partnership at various levels, particularly in the economic and trade fields, in a way that enables the two peoples to continue facing the repercussions of the blockade and sanctions imposed on the two countries as a result of their adherence to their sovereignty and the independence of their decisions, according to SANA. It added that talks during the meeting also dealt with the latest regional and international developments, especially the situation in Afghanistan and its repercussions on the security and stability of the region in general.

Assad stressed that the continuous cooperation between Syria and Iran has given positive results in protecting the interests of the two friendly countries and peoples, particularly in the field of combating terrorism. The president also affirmed that Syria will continue to combat terrorism until all the lands are liberated from it.

Abdollahian pointed out that Iran and Syria have achieved great victories in the war against terrorism thanks to the common will of the two countries’ leaderships, reiterating his country’s continued support to Syria and its people to confront terrorism in all its forms, especially economic terrorism and its repercussions.

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