Iran’s foreign minister has said the Islamic Republic’s relations with Iraq and Syria are of a strategic nature, underlining the need to uphold consultations among regional countries to establish lasting security.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks upon arriving in Damascus for an official visit on Sunday, saying that he was proud that his first bilateral trip as Iran’s foreign minister was to Syria.
“With the will of the leaders of the two countries, Iran and Syria will take big steps to fight against economic terrorism and to help the two countries' people,” he told reporters.
Iran's top diplomat said the two countries have scored joint victories in the fight against terrorism, noting that his trip to Damascus was aimed at reviewing bilateral ties in various fields of trade and economy as well as other areas of mutual interest.
Amir-Abdollahian’s visit came a day after his participation in the Baghdad International Conference “For Cooperation and Participation” aimed at easing tensions in the region.
Later on Sunday, the chief Iranian diplomat met with his Syrian counterpart, Faisal Mekdad.
Amir-Abdollahian: Syria at forefront of resistance
During the ensuing meeting with his Syrian counterpart, Amir-Abdollahian congratulated Damascus for holding a successful presidential election, expressing joy that the Arab country has managed to overcome its crises and defeat its enemies who waged a war of terror on the Syrian people.
“I would like to remind the Iranian and Syrian delegations here of the heroic and courageous acts of Martyr [Qassem] Soleimani, who, along with the great martyrs of Syria and the Syrian Armed Forces, played an important role in defeating Daesh,” he said.
Iran's foreign minister stated that the blood of Iranians and Syrians, which spilled on the battlefield of the fight against terrorism in Syria, is a guarantee for the continuation of the strategic relations between the two countries.
“We have entered a new phase of trade and economic relations between the two countries and people, and today I am here to first emphasize the development and expansion of relations and stress that Syria is at the forefront of the resistance,” Amir-Abdollahian said, adding that Syria, as a friend of the Islamic Republic of Iran, has continued to prosper and flourish in recent years.
Mikdad, for his part, congratulated Tehran for holding a successful presidential election.
He also extended his warmest congratulations to President Ebrahim Raeisi and Amir-Abdollahian on assuming their new posts.
The Syrian foreign minister lauded Iran’s support for the people and government of Syria, stressing the need for the continuation of bilateral cooperation between Tehran and Damascus in all areas.
Amir-Abdollahian: Zionists major factor fomenting insecurity in region
Following his meeting with the Syrian foreign minister, Iran’s top diplomat told reporters that Zionists are an important factor fomenting insecurity in the region.
“Zionists are an important factor of insecurity in the region. Zionists have taken Muslims, Christians and even Jews hostage in the historical land of Palestine,” he said.
Without a doubt, he went on, consultation and cooperation among regional and Muslim countries contribute to lasting security.
The foreign minister also said he had very constructive conversations with “my dear brother Mr. Faisal Mekdad about expanding and strengthening our relations as much as possible.”
Noting that the two countries are drawing up a plan for the active development of bilateral economic and trade cooperation, Amir-Abdollahian added that such a plan would aim at countering the cruel sanctions imposed on Iran and Syria by their enemies.
“We examined the latest developments in the region. We believe that any political and security arrangements in the region will be achieved through the presence and participation of all countries in the region, including the Arab Republic of Syria, and in this direction we regard as important the role of Iraq and Syria in helping with the formation of new regional arrangements in political, security and economic fields,” he said.
He emphasized that the presence of foreign forces in the region would not contribute to the establishment of security and sustainable stability in the sensitive Middle East region.
Iran’s FM discusses mutual ties, intl. and regional issues with Syrian president
Following his meeting with the Syrian foreign minister, Iran’s top diplomat was received by the country’s President Bashar al-Assad.
During their meeting, the two sides discussed various issues of mutual interest, including ways to further expand bilateral relations. They also exchanged views on different international and regional developments.
Since 2011, Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy, leading to the emergence of Daesh and other terrorist groups in the country, which in turn unified resistance groups to launch a massive campaign against terrorism.
In the meantime, with the professed objective of bringing security to Syria, the US has been maintaining an illegal military presence on the Syrian soil, collaborating with militants against Syria’s legitimate government, stealing the country’s crude oil resources, bombing the positions of the Syrian army and anti-terror popular forces, and imposing crippling sanctions on Damascus.
The Syrian government has denounced the United States’ anti-Damascus actions, including its unilateral sanctions, as “crimes against humanity”, saying the Western sponsors of terrorism must pay the price for their atrocities against the Syrian nation.