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Defense Chief Signs Military Coop. Deal in Damascus

Defense Chief Signs Military Coop. Deal in Damascus Defense Chief Signs Military Coop. Deal in Damascus

Iran and Syria signed a deal for military cooperation in a meeting between the defense ministers of the two countries in Damascus on Monday.

Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami, who was in Syria with a ranking military delegation for a two-day visit, on Sunday signed a bilateral agreement after talks with  President Bashar al-Assad and his Defense Minister General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub, Tasnim News Agency reported.

The agreement calls for enhancing military and defense cooperation.

“Syria is getting out of crisis and entering the reconstruction phase,” the Iranian minister said, adding that the agreement with Syria defines the grounds for two-way defense cooperation.

Ayyoub praised Iran for supporting his country in the fight against terrorism, stressing that the sides will not allow others to harm their close relations.

Since the outbreak of war and foreign insurgency in Syria in 2011, Iran has stood by the government in Damascus and supported its people against terrorist groups.

In recent months, the Syrian army has managed to liberate many of the areas occupied by terrorists and has begun the difficult task of post-war reconstruction. Hatami conferred President Bashar al-Assad on Monday and renewed Iran’s support for unity in the war-torn Arab country.

He praised the Syrian nation’s steadfastness in countering terrorism, adding that people in the world and the region are indebted to Syria’s counter-terrorism efforts.

Hatami said he trusts the Syrian nation’s ability to continue the fight against terror until uprooting the scourge and achieving final victory. Iran supports unity in Syria regardless of threats and pressure from some countries, he noted, underlining that Tehran is willing to participate in rebuilding the country.

  Reconstruction

"To that end, the private sector in Iran has good capabilities and can use it in the reconstruction of Syria," General Hatami said. The Syrian president welcomed the visit by the Iranian minister and his aides amid the recent victories made by the Syrian army and its allies.

He said Iran and Syria have strong and stable relations and rumors and negative propaganda about their mutual  ties will leave no impact on the strong bilateral relations that were built ever since the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. US National Security Adviser John Bolton said last week that Iran should remove its forces from Syria. Senior Iranian officials have said their military presence in Syria is at the invitation of the Assad government and there are no immediate plans for withdrawal. The protracted conflict in Syria, now in its eight year, has killed hundreds of thousands of people and driven half of the population of 23 million from their homes.

 

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