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Anti-Terror Cooperation Discussed With Syria

Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari (L) meets Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on July 20.Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari (L) meets Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on July 20.

An Iranian deputy foreign minister held meetings with top Syrian officials, including President Bashar al-Assad, for talks on enhancing bilateral ties and cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

On the second day of his visit to Damascus, Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari sat down with Assad on Thursday to discuss the latest developments in crisis-hit Syria, among other issues of mutual and regional significance.

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

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

Muallem thanked Iran for standing by his country and said the Syrian Army, in cooperation with the allies and friends, will continue to fight terrorism in parallel with 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, Ansari touched on the Syria peace process that has been underway since January in the Kazakh capital, Astana, with the mediation of Iran, Russia and Turkey.

He said parties to the peace process, which has brought Syria's warring sides to the negotiating table, are continuing discussions on four de-escalation zones created in the Arab state. The four safe zones, the official said, had been formed with the aim of booting “an effective fight” against terrorism and helping find a way out of the deadly crisis.

Ansari 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 those agreements”.

Such violations could serve as a prelude to "negative developments", he concluded.

 

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