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Syrian FM, UAE national security adviser due in Tehran

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)
UAE national security adviser Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan

The UAE’s national security adviser Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan will visit Tehran Monday for talks with his Iranian counterpart and some other high-ranking officials, Iran's top security body says.

Syria's Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad is also due in Tehran on Sunday for a two-day visit, Iran's ISNA news agency reported. 

Mekdad, who is visiting Iran at the head of a delegation for the second time since being named as Syria's top diplomat, will discuss "strengthening strategic relations" between the two allies, ISNA said.

The visit comes a few days after a large economic delegation from Iran headed by the country's minister of industry, mining and trade traveled to Damascus and met with senior Syrian officials.

Sheikh Tahnoun, who is a brother of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, will travel to Tehran at the invitation of Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani, the SNSC's secretariat said on Sunday.   

Developing bilateral relations and discussing the latest developments in the region are among the goals of Sheikh Tahnoun’s trip.

Late last month, the diplomatic adviser to the UAE president announced that the country would soon send a delegation to Iran as part of efforts to improve ties.

“I hope that it is the sooner the better and all our friends are aware of it,” Anwar Gargash told reporters when asked when a UAE delegation would hold talks in Tehran.

The idea was to “turn over a new page” in relations, he added. “There is a recognition by the Iranians that they need to rebuild bridges with the [Persian] Gulf. We are picking that up positively.”

Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator and deputy foreign minister for political affairs, met Gargash and other Emirati officials in Dubai on November 24.

In a post on his Twitter account, Bagheri Kani described his meeting with Gargash as “friendly and cordial,” saying Iran and the UAE had agreed to “open a new chapter” in bilateral relations. 

The discussions stressed the importance of strengthening relations “on the basis of good neighborliness and mutual respect,” working for greater regional stability and prosperity and developing bilateral economic and commercial ties, according to the Emirates News Agency, also known as WAM.

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