Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani (R) shakes hands with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem in Tehran on January 1, 2017
Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has hailed the recent advances by the Syrian army and pro-government forces against foreign-backed terrorists, saying Syria is the flag-bearer of the war on terrorism and Zionism.
In a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem in Tehran on Sunday, Larijani stressed the importance of pursuing a political approach based on intra-Syrian negotiations to solve the crisis in the Arab country.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always stood by the Syrian nation on the resistance battleground and various political stages, and will continue its support in the future and the Syrian people will be the final victor in this arena,” the top Iranian parliamentarian added.
He said there are good grounds for the restoration of stability and security to Syria, adding that the presence of terrorist groups such as Daesh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, is at odds with peace and security in the Arab country and the entire region.
Larijani further stated that the upcoming peace talks scheduled to be held in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, between parties to the Syria conflict would be an important step toward finding a political solution to the crisis and establishing sustainable peace in the country.
He also called for adopting measures to control and protect Syria’s borders and prevent the infiltration of terrorists into the country.
Larijani urged all Muslim and regional countries to reinforce their unity and make widespread efforts to counter terrorist groups.
Need for more Iran-Syria cooperation on terror fight
The Syrian foreign minister, for his part, commended Iran and Russia’s support for his country in the fight against terrorism and called for more such cooperation and coordination.
With an international resolve to fight terrorism, the vicious phenomenon would be uprooted in less than one year, Muallem said.
During the meeting, the two senior Iranian and Syrian officials also exchanged views on the current nationwide ceasefire in Syria and a resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council endorsing the truce agreement.
On Saturday, the Security Council approved the resolution, which also aims to pave the way for new talks in the Kazakh capital city of Astana next month, ahead of the resumption of UN-brokered peace talks in the Swiss city of Geneva in February.
The text of the resolution “welcomes and supports the efforts by Russia and Turkey to end violence in Syria and jump-start a political process.”
The nationwide ceasefire in Syria, which came into effect on Thursday midnight, has been largely holding, with most of the country witnessing a relative calm.
There were, however, sporadic clashes between Syrian government forces and their allies on one side and Takfiri militants on the other in the mountainous Wadi Barada region near the capital, Damascus, as well as the southern city of Dara’a.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in Britain, also said on Saturday that most of Syria remained calm, despite limited clashes.
Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as the al-Nusra Front, and Daesh terrorist groups are excluded from the ongoing truce, mediated by Russia and Turkey, in the country.
The Syrian foreign minister arrived in Tehran on Saturday at the head of a high-ranking delegation. He held talks with senior Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani on Saturday. Muallem also met with Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, on Sunday.
(Source / 02.01.2017)