President al-Assad to Zarif: Adherence to national principles and people’s interests protects any country

Damascus, SANA – President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday received Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the accompanying delegation.

During the meeting, President al-Assad reiterated Syria’s denouncement of the irresponsible US action against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, saying that it is part of erroneous US policies that constitute a main factor in instability in the region.

President al-Assad expressed heartfelt condolences to the Iranian people and the families of the victims of the recent floods that affected a number of Iranian provinces recently.

For his part, Zarif denounced the US administration’s decision regarding the occupied Syrian Golan, saying that this decision cannot be separated from its decisions on al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the Revolutionary Guard, and that these decisions are a sign of the failure of Washington’s policies in the region.

The two sides exchanged opinions on regional developments, with President al-Assad asserting that adhering to national principles and positions and making the people’s interests a priority are enough to protect any country, preserve its unity, and confront any foreign conspiracies.

Zarif said that developments in the region prove the need for enhancing coordination between the two sides on all levels to benefit the two countries and enhance security and stability in the region.

President al-Assad and Zarif asserted that the policies of the US and some Western states will not dissuade Syria and Iran and their allies from defending the rights and interests of their peoples.

The two sides not that the West, particularly the United States, should resort to diplomacy instead of waging warriors and employing economic terrorism against those who disagree with them.

The meeting touched on the next round of Astana talks, stressing the importance of coordination between Damascus and Tehran to achieve Syria’s national interest.

Talks also dealt with the agreements between the two sides, joint projects, their stages of implementation, and the difficulties facing them, as well as expanding cooperation in the future.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem, Presidential Political and Media Advisor Bouthaina Shaaban, Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Fayssal Mikdad, and Director of the Asia Department at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry Shafiq Dayyoub.

In the same context, al-Moallem met Zarif and the accompanying delegation, discussing with him the importance of enhancing the strategic relations between the two countries in all fields.

They also discussed developments in Syria and the region, with the two sides’ expressing matching viewpoints regarding all the issues that were discussed.

In a statement to journalists at Foreign and Expatriates Ministry HQ, Zarif stressed his country’s continuation to work with Syria in confronting the cohesive economic measures imposed on the Syrian and Iranian peoples, renewing Iran’s standing by the side of Syria.

He pointed out to the constant talks related to economic cooperation between Syria and Iran, clarifying that positive discussions have been recently held with regards to transportation lines between Iran, Iraq and Syria, expressing at the same time hope for more cooperation in this field.

On the situation in Idleb , Zarif described the threat of Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists on civilians as “dangerous”, pointing out that he is going to discuss this issue during his visit to Turkey and the need for work by those participating in Astana track for tackling it.

He stressed the importance of commitment of Iran, Turkey and Russia to what has been agreed on with regards to pledges, particularly those on disarmament of terrorist groups and their exit from Idleb.

Also, Prime Minister Imad Khamis met with the Iranian Foreign Minister and the accompanying delegation where the two sides reviewed cooperation in the fields of economy, investment, tourism, culture and infrastructure and the importance of constant coordination between them in light of the unjust western sanctions imposed on the Syrian and Iranian peoples.

Khamis considered that the current stage and the regional and international circumstances make it a must for the two countries to push forwards the bilateral relations in the economic field in fulfillment to will of the two countries’ leaderships, clarifying that the Syrian government has set a roadmap and an executive mechanism for agreements and MoU’s signed between them.

Zarif, for his part, clarified that the Iranian government is directly following up the enhancement of the economic and investment relations in a way that meets a common interest.

Rasha / H. Sabbagh

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