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EghtesadOnline: The Iranian deputy foreign minister has held meetings with senior Syrian officials, including President Bashar al-Assad, for talks on the enhancement of bilateral ties as well as cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

On the second day of his visit to Damascus, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, the Iranian deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs, sat down with President Assad on Thursday to discuss the latest developments in crisis-hit Syria, among other issues of mutual and regional significance, PressTV reported.

The senior Iranian official held separate talks on Wednesday with Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis , Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem and his deputy, Faisal Mekdad.

During his talks with Muallem, Jaberi Ansari said Iran would keep up its support for the Syrian nation in all areas, including anti-terror battles, until the restoration of peace to the country, Syria’s official SANA news agency reported.

The senior Iranian official further highlighted the importance of Iranian-Syrian-Russian coordination in efforts to achieve a political solution to the Syria crisis.

Muallem, in turn, thanked Iran for standing by his country and said the Syrian army, in cooperation with the allies and friends, will continue its fight against terrorism in parallel with the efforts on the diplomatic stage.

The Syrian minister also said any solution to the conflict in Syria should respect the Arab state’s “sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.”

Speaking to reporters following his discussions with Muallem, Jaberi Ansari touched on the Syria peace process which has been underway since January in the Kazakh capital, Astana, with the mediation of Iran, Russia and Turkey.

He said the parties to the peace process, which has brought Syria’s warring sides to the negotiating table, are continuing their discussions on the four de-escalation zones created in the Arab state.

The four safe zones, the official said, had been formed with the aim of booting “effective fight” against terrorism and helping find a way out of the deadly crisis.

Jaberi Ansari further complained of truce violations by certain parties in southern Syria and said, “Unfortunately, certain guarantors of the ceasefire regimes have themselves failed to abide by them, and have until now violated almost all of those agreements.”

Such violations could serve as a prelude to “negative developments,” he added.

Also on Wednesday, Jaberi Ansari and Khamis exchanged views on ways of promoting bilateral relations, particularly in the economic and political areas.


Bashar al-Assad Hossein Jaberi Ansari Iran Syria