Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has met President Bashar al-Assad and lauded Syria’s victory in emerging from a 12-year conflict, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi arrived in Syria on Wednesday, marking the first visit by an Iranian leader since the beginning of the conflict in the Arab nation in 2011.
Raisi was received by Syrian Foreign Ministry officials and representatives from the presidency at the Damascus International Airport, reports Xinhua news agency.
A welcome ceremony was organised for Raisi at the Qasr al-Sha’ab presidential palace after which he met President Bashar al-Assad.
The Syrian President and his visiting Iranian counterpart have signed a number of memorandums of understanding (MOUs) for “long-term and comprehensive cooperation” in various fields, state media reported.
The MOUs cover cooperation in the fields of oil, communications, civil aviation, railways, and agriculture, among others, reports Xinhua news agency.
Following the signing of the MOUs, Assad was quoted as saying that the talks with Raisi had centres largely on economic issues.
He noted that the projects under discussion would give the bilateral relations a strong boost by setting up mechanisms for trade exchange and investment to mitigate the impact of the Western sanctions.
He pointed out that both countries would “benefit from the change in the economic map of the world and the gradual shift of balance towards the East, which would liberate international economies from the domination of the West and, as a result, the blockade (Western nations’ economic sanctions) would gradually lose its effects”.
On his part, Raisi said he and Assad discussed the development of bilateral relations in all domains, stressing that “we are determined to develop the relations with all regional countries”.
Raisi lauded Syria’s victory in emerging from a 12-year conflict.
“Syria’s government and people have gone through tremendous hardships, and today we can say that you have weathered and overcome all these problems and achieved victory despite the threats and sanctions imposed against you,” Raisi told Assad at the palace.
Raisi calls for US exit
President Raisi has also called for the U.S. withdrawal from Syria to ensure the Arab state’s security.
He made the remarks at a joint press conference with Syrian President following their meeting in Damascus earlier in the day.
“The sooner the Americans exit from Syria, the more effectively Syria’s security will be guaranteed,” he noted.
Raisi said Iran maintains that the U.S. presence in Syria not only fails to be of any contribution to the Arab country’s security but also compromises its security and that of the entire region.
He stressed that Iran’s foreign policy is based on expanding relations with regional countries without the involvement of foreign powers, noting that foreign powers’ presence in the region does not guarantee security.
Raisi said Iran believes that the establishment of the Syrian government’s complete sovereignty over the entire Syrian territory is the way to ensure the country’s security and that of the entire region.
He said the status quo in Iran and Syria is proof of the “rightfulness and correctness” of the two countries’ resistance against U.S. pressures.
Countries that failed to achieve their “evil” objectives through military actions are making bids to pursue their goals through economic pressures and sanctions, which will definitely end in failure, Raisi said.
During the two-day official visit, the Iranian President will hold extensive political and economic talks with Assad.
Raisi is being accompanied by a delegation which includes Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Defence Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani and other senior officials.
The delegation accompanying Raisi includes Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Defence Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani and other senior officials.
Iran has supported al-Assad during the Syrian war.
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