Syrian president says alliance with Iran unshakable

President Bashar Assad rejected claims that Syria's alliance with Iran had been weakened by Damascus' participation in last month's U.S.-sponsored Mideast conference, insisting Thursday that ties between the two countries will never be shaken.

Syrian president says alliance with Iran unshakable
Assad made the comments as he inaugurated two joint Syrian-Iranian industrial projects — factories for cars and cement, according to the official SANA news agency.

He was joined at the ceremonies by the Iranian industry and housing ministers.

The November conference in Annapolis, Md., which relaunched Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, was widely seen as also aimed at isolating Iran by bringing together Arab nations. U.S. officials have expressed hopes that Syria's attendance would mark a start to easing it out of its alliance with Tehran.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other top officials denounced the conference, and some officials expressed surprise over Syria's participation — though none directly criticized it.

"Inaugurating this plant in partnership with our Iranian brothers and officials is a response to those who tried to circulate (reports) ... that relations between the two countries have been shaken," SANA quoted Assad as saying.

"I confirm, on this occasion, that relations will not be shaken for any reason or under any circumstance," Assad said at the factory in Hasya, some 100 miles north of the capital Damascus.

Syria is Iran's closest Arab ally. The two countries have had warm relations since 1980 when Syria sided with Persian Iran against Iraq in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Aralık 2007, 12:51
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