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Syrian people’s massive turnout in election, major step towards prosperity: Rouhani

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The combined photo shows Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (R) and his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says massive turnout of the Syrian people in the presidential election was an important step towards determining their own fate and prosperity.

In a message to his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad, the Iranian president extended his sincere congratulations to him over the successful holding of the election and his decisive victory.

“The Syrian people took an important step towards determining the fate and [achieving] prosperity of Syria through their large turnout and decisive choice,” Rouhani said.

He expressed his absolute confidence that the two friendly and brotherly countries would witness further expansion of cooperation during new phase of Syrian political life. 

He also wished health and success for Assad and dignity for the people of Syria.

Syrian parliament speaker Hamoudeh Sabbagh announced on Thursday that Assad had overwhelmingly won the country’s presidential election as opposed to 88.7 percent in the 2014.

He said that about 14 million of the estimated 18 million eligible voters inside and outside Syria cast their votes, with a turnout rate of 78.64 percent.

Assad was contesting the polls alongside two other candidates, opposition figure Mahmoud Ahmad Marei and former MP and minister, Abdullah Sallum Abdullah.

Marei came second in the race by winning 3.3 percent or 470,276 of the ballots, while Abdullah secured 1.5 percent of the vote or 213,968 ballots.

In a statement issued on Friday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry extended congratulations to Assad and the resilient Syrian nation on his firm victory in the election.

“Successful holding of the election and the Syrian people’s massive turnout are an important step in establishing peace, stability and tranquility as well as Syria’s reconstruction and development,” said the statement.

In a televised speech addressing Syrians on Friday night after winning his fourth seven-year term in the 2021 presidential election, Assad said the Syrian nation has "redefined patriotism" by voting in the country's presidential election and turned the vote into a "real revolution" against foreign-backed terrorism and scheme-devising enemies.

“The message of this election reached the enemies and the national duty was fulfilled,” Assad said, adding that the enemies, however, stubbornly “insist on ignoring the message sent by the Syrian people in the election.”

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