Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:8PM
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (R) meets with Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu in Tehran on February 21, 2016. (president.ir)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (R) meets with Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu in Tehran on February 21, 2016. (president.ir)

Russian defense chief has communicated a special message from President Vladimir Putin to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

At a meeting on Sunday in Tehran, Sergei Shoigu also presented a report on the latest developments concerning regional stability and ongoing talks on the cessation of hostilities in Syria.

Rouhani detailed the Islamic Republic’s stance on the situation in Syria and potential resolution of the conflict in the Arab country. 

The crisis in Syria can only be solved through political negotiation and respect for the rights of the country’s government and people, who are those taking the final decision regarding its future, he said. 

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.

According to a new report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.

Earlier in the month, the German city of Munich hosted a gathering of the 17-member International Syria Support Group.

The working group, which comprises Iran and Russia among others, agreed during the session on the implementation of a ceasefire in the battle-scarred country.

The trip comes less than a week after Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan paid a visit to Moscow and discussed mutual relations as well as regional and international developments with President Vladimir Putin, Shoigu himself, and Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin among other senior Russian officials.

Dehqan also attended the meeting between Rouhani and the Russian defense chief.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani (R) shakes hands with a Russian defense official as Iran's Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan looks on. (ISNA)

The two defense chiefs met at the Iranian Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics Headquarters in the Iranian capital, where they discussed the process of the implementation of bilateral defense agreements.