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Iran ready to play active role in reconstruction of war-ravaged Syria: Senior diplomat

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)
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (C-R) and Ali Asghar Khaji (C-L), Iranian Foreign Minister's senior aide for special political affairs, meet in Damascus on June 28, 2021. (Photo by SANA)

A senior Iranian diplomat says the Islamic Republic is ready to play an active role in the reconstruction of war-torn Syria and help the country in the face of unjust Western sanctions.

Ali Asghar Khaji, Iranian Foreign Minister's senior aide for special political affairs, made the remarks in a Monday meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, during which the two sides discussed ways of further expanding cooperation between the two countries in various areas, Syria's official news agency SANA reported on Monday.

He said high turnout of the Syrian people in the country's last month presidential election, which led to Assad's landslide victory and winning his fourth seven-year term, conveyed a clear message of their strong will.

Syrian Parliament Speaker Hammoudeh Sabbagh announced on May 27 that Assad overwhelmingly won the country’s presidential election.

Khaji reiterated Iran's readiness to play an active role in the reconstruction of the war-hit Syria and to support its economy in different sectors in a way that eases the burdens of the unjust Western blockade on the Arab country's people.

Over the past years, the US has been maintaining an illegal military presence on Syrian soil, collaborating with anti-Damascus militants and stealing the country’s crude oil resources.

It has also slapped rounds of crippling sanctions on Syria, which has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.

Parts of the restrictive measures have been imposed under the so-called Caesar Act, an American piece of legislation that alleges to support the Syrian people by protecting them against the Syrian administration’s way of governance.

The bans target almost all Syrian economic and trade activities, as well as the country’s government officials.

Syria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bassam Sabbagh has stressed that the improvement of the humanitarian situation in Syria requires the immediate lifting of unilateral coercive measures imposed by the US. 

For his part, Assad congratulated the successful presidential election in Iran earlier this month, which dealt a new blow to all forces that are trying to target the Islamic Republic's security and safety.

Ebrahim Raeisi, the incumbent Judiciary Chief of Iran, was elected Iran’s eighth president after he garnered about 62 percent of the votes in the June 18 election. He will succeed President Hassan Rouhani, who has served two four-year terms in office.

The election was held amid an ear-splitting political and media campaign by the United States as well as its Western and regional allies trying to portray the vote as “undemocratic.”

During the meeting, Assad and Khaji also exchanged views about strategic relations between Syria and Iran and underlined the important role played by the two countries' joint committees to enhance cooperation in all areas, particularly in the economic sector to serve common interests of the two nations.

They also discussed regional developments and several issues of political concern, particularly the agenda of Astana meetings and stressed the importance of continuing political efforts to achieve positive results in Syria's interest.

The Syrian president and the Iranian diplomat emphasized that the Syria Constitutional Committee should continue its work without any foreign intervention.

Iran diplomat, Syria FM discuss enhanced cooperation to counter coercive measures

In a separate meeting, Khaji and Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad discussed possible ways to enhance relations to overcome the impacts of unilateral coercive measures imposed on the Syrian and Iranian nations.

Khaji hailed the successful presidential election in Syria and massive participation of the country's people in the political process.

The two sides also discussed preparations for an upcoming Astana meeting and affirmed the importance of respecting Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Khaji and Mekdad said the Syria Constitutional Committee should work without any intervention under any pretext.

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