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Iran president: Foreign presence in Syria detrimental to regional security, stability

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi (R) meets Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on December 6, 2021. (Photo by President.ir)

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi says continued presence of foreign forces in Syria and elsewhere in the West Asia region is detrimental to security and stability of the entire region.

Raeisi made the remarks in a meeting with visiting Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in Tehran on Monday, during which the two sides discussed regional and international developments as well as ways for all-out expansion of relations between Tehran and Damascus.

“Continuation of the illegal presence of foreign forces in the region and on the Syrian soil is detrimental to security and stability of the region,” Iran’s president said.

“Daesh [terrorist group] was created by Americans and today, presence of both Daesh and America at any place in the region will be a great threat to security, stability and welfare of [regional] nations,” Raeisi added.

Underlining the significance of maintaining the security and stability of Syria as well as its powerful presence in regional equations, Raeisi noted, “Today, Syria, with its anti-Zionist policy, is at the forefront of resistance against the Zionists, and history will proudly record the commendable resistance of the Syrian people and government in the face of cowardly acts of aggression.”

The Iranian chief executive stressed the need to respect the territorial integrity of Syria, saying, "Turning a blind eye to national sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries would not be accepted from any country, and the Syrian people will certainly not tolerate it."

In another part of his remarks, the Iranian president described the volume of trade and economic exchanges between the two countries as much lower than the desired level, and said, “There is great potential to increase the volume and amount of economic exchanges between the two countries, and through activating all existing capacities, the volume of economic exchanges can be multiplied.”

The Syrian foreign minister, for his part, delivered a message from Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and invited President Raeisi to visit the country, saying that Syria is determined to activate all cooperation capacities to further strengthen Tehran-Damascus relations in line with the shared interests of the two nations.

Reaffirming that the Syrian people will never forget Iran’s support and assistance, Mekdad said, “The United States uses the most vicious methods in its relations with some countries in the region, and seeks to make the Zionists masters of the region through totally disrespecting and humiliating” regional nations.

"The plots hatched by the United States, the Zionist regime and their stooges have failed in the region due to steadfastness of the Syrian people and the resistance front, and now they have reached the conclusion that Syria was not defeated [in its war on terror] and has, therefore, changed their approach," Mekdad noted.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since 2011.

The US military has stationed forces and equipment in eastern and northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists.

Damascus, however, says the unlawful deployment is meant to plunder the country’s resources.

Former US president Donald Trump admitted on several occasions that American forces were in Syria for its oil.

After failing to oust the Syrian government through proxies and direct involvement in the conflict, the US government has now stepped up its economic war on the Arab country.


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