Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has called his country's ties with Syria "strategic", saying Tehran will stand by Damascus as it did during the foreign-backed war against terrorism.
Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks as he arrived in Damascus to hold talks with Syrian officials. He was welcomed by his Syrian counterpart, Faisal Mekdad, at Damascus International Airport on Saturday.
"Our ties with Syria are strategic and we are trying to expand our cooperation with the country in all fields. Syria is on the path of development and progress, and on this path, Iran will strongly stand by Damascus, as it did during the war on terrorists," Amir-Abdollahian told reporters.
Syria is the third destination of the Iranian foreign minister after visits to Russia and Lebanon.
It is also his second visit to Syria since assuming the post of Iran’s foreign minister. On August 29, he met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.
“Following trips to Moscow and Beirut, we will today meet and exchange views with Mr Bashar al-Assad and Syrian officials in Damascus to complete our consultations. We are always interested in dialog and consultation with our friends, including Syria, about the latest developments in the region,” the top Iranian diplomat said.
In recent weeks, important agreements have been reached on the expansion of relations as well as economic, trade and tourism cooperation between Iran and Syria, he noted.
“We are seeking to implement the bilateral deals as soon as possible so that we can see the results shortly.”
The top Syrian diplomat, for his part, said Damascus supports Iran's nuclear energy program and its stance in negotiations with the West and strongly condemns all US measures meant to manipulate the case and other issues in the region.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-sponsored militancy since March 2011, with the US and its allies aiding terrorist groups.
However, Syrian government forces, backed by Iran and Russia, have managed to win back control of almost all regions from foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists.