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Iran will remain on Syria side in post-war reconstruction: VP

Iranian First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri (R) and Syrian Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Mohammad Samer al-Khalil meet in Tehran on June 19, 2018. (Photo by IRNA)

Iranian First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri says the Islamic Republic will stand by Syria in the reconstruction plans of the war-stricken country.

"As the Iranian government and nation stood by the Syrian government and people in the fight against terrorist groups, they will also stand by the Syrian people now that major parts of Syria are under the control of the country's government," Jahangiri said in a meeting with Syrian Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Mohammad Samer al-Khalil in Tehran on Tuesday.

He hailed the recent achievements made by the Syrian government, army and people in the battle against terrorist groups, including Daesh, saying, "Such victories are useful not only for regional nations but even for European countries which are facing the issue of terrorism these days."

Takfiri terrorists have lost much of the territory they once held in Syria amid sweeping gains by government forces on the ground.

In April, Syrian forces managed to retake the Eastern Ghouta and Eastern Qalamoun regions near the capital Damascus.

For years, the areas had served as a launch pad for deadly terror attacks against civilians in Damascus.

Syrian forces later moved to liberate other militant-held areas in the provinces of Homs and Hama.

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Jahangiri also stressed the importance of enhancing trade and economic relations between Tehran and Damascus in parallel with mutual political ties.

Iran's private sector enjoys high capabilities and the Iranian companies are ready to participate and play an active role in the reconstruction of Syria; however, such cooperation requires the removal of economic and banking problems, he said.

The Iranian vice president further expressed the Islamic Republic's readiness to sign a trilateral agreement with Syria and Iraq to improve economic cooperation.

He stressed that all foreign forces must leave Syria at the earliest and said no country should be present in this country without its government's consent.

In a message to his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad in April, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the Islamic Republic is fully prepared to help Syria with the reconstruction of the war-ravaged country.

"Just as it stood by the Syrian people in their fight against terrorism, the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to stand by you in Syria's reconstruction employing all it has in power," Rouhani said.

Syria’s top parliamentarian said in January that Iran has helped Damascus foil major plots against the Arab country.  

“Major plots hatched against Syria were all foiled through Iran-Syria cooperation,” Speaker of People's Council of Syria Hammouda Youssef Sabbagh said in a meeting in Tehran with Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. 

Need for enhanced Iran-Syria economic ties

The Syrian minister, for his part, said he held positive and constructive talks with Iranian officials and called for enhanced cooperation between the two countries' tradesmen.

He expressed hope that the Syrian people would achieve a final victory against terrorist groups soon.

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