Syria, Iran seek to further bilateral ties

Syria and Iran sought to further bilateral ties as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad paid an official visit here on Thursday in which he held talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and other senior officials.

Syria, Iran seek to further bilateral ties
Syria and Iran sought to further bilateral ties as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad paid an official visit here on Thursday in which he held talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and other senior officials.

Ahmadinejad's visit, two days after Assad's inauguration as president for a second seven-year term, was his second trip here since he became Iranian president in August 2005.

According to the official SANA news agency, the two leaders held private talks before officials from both sides joined them ina meeting of "friendly, cooperative and constructive" atmosphere, during which the leaders discussed bilateral political, economic and trade relations as well as regional and international issues.

At a joint press conference with Assad after the meetings, Ahmadinejad hailed the Syrian-Iranian relations as "cordial, excellent and extremely deep", adding that "the two countries share common stands on regional issues and face common challenges."

"The relation with Syria is progressing daily and in every field and along all lines," Ahmadinejad said.

He also warned "enemies of the region" who try to trouble the ties to abandon their hostile schemes.

For his part, Assad said Ahmadinejad's visit came in the framework of the continuous coordination between the two countries, adding that "we see that ties between the two countries are developing more and more."

"What makes this visit more distinguished than the previous ones between me and President Ahmadinejad ... is the quick and urgent changing of circumstances surrounding us," added Assad.

In a joint statement, the two presidents asserted their positions toward regional issues, particularly in Lebanon, the Palestinian territories and Iraq, in addition to Iran's nuclear issue.

On Lebanon, the two leaders stressed their support to the national unity and stability in Lebanon.

"It is necessary to consolidate national unity and harmony among all Lebanese to assure the stability and security of Lebanon," said the leaders in the statement.

They also expressed their support for all decisions taken by all Lebanese, noting the rights of the Lebanese people to resist Israeli aggressions and to restore the land still occupied by Israel.

On Iran's nuclear file, both sides underlined the firm rights of member states of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of peaceful use of the nuclear energy.

Any discrimination regarding developing countries' practice of this right is unacceptable, as policies of member states in this treaty must be respected, said the statement.

Assad and Ahmadinejad also expressed satisfaction over the current negotiations between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), saying they are content with the necessity of handling this issue by diplomatic means and unconditionally through dialogue.

During his day-long stay here, Ahmadinejad also held meetings with leader of the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah and Khaled Meshaal, the exiled chief of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas, in Syria.

He also met with exiled chief of the Islamic Jihad (Holy War) movement Ramadan Abdullah Shalah in which he said Iran is duty-bound to fully support the resistance of the Palestinian people.

Both Syria and Iran have been under pressure from the United States which accused them of helping whip up insecurity in Iraq by supporting insurgents and of stirring up instability in Lebanon since the assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri, charges denied by Damascus and Tehran.

The two countries also support Hezbollah and radical Palestinian groups, which Washington marked as terrorist organizations but Damascus and Tehran insist as legitimate resistance movement.

Assad also paid two visits to Tehran after Ahmadinejad's election victory in 2005, the first was just five days after he was sworn in and the other was in February this year.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Temmuz 2007, 17:17
YORUM EKLE