Iran, Syria Review Regional Developments

A00234351.jpgTEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and his Syrian counterpart Walid Mualem discussed bilateral ties and exchanged views about regional issues in a meeting here on Monday.

A statement released by the Foreign Ministry’s Information and Press Bureau said that during the meeting, Mottaki voiced pleasure in the two countries’ developing ties in all political, economic, scientific and cultural areas, and described Iran-Syria international cooperation as positive and constructive.

He further stated that the next month meeting of the two countries’ joint committee to be attended by Syrian prime minister would play a crucially important role in the deepening of Tehran-Damascus ties.

Noting regional developments, the Iranian top diplomat said that Bush’s new Iraq strategy has complicated the problems and worsened the regional condition and Iraq’s crisis, and stressed that consultations between senior Iranian and Syrian officials about regional developments are of much importance.

He also said that the United States’ disregard for those factors which play an effective role in the region has made Washington face failure in implementing its policies.

Mottaki said that the new policies of the US president, including extensive arrests and undermining sovereignty of the Iraqi officials and bodies, constitute part of the plots hatched by the US and Britain for fomenting unrest in that country.

He further viewed the arrangement of a meeting of the foreign ministers of Iraq’s neighboring states as a crucial factor for the establishment of security in that country, and recommended arrangement of the ministerial summit in Baghdad.

The Iranian minister also stressed the need for convergence and solidarity among Iraqi religious and ethnic groups, and said that enhancement of unity and avoiding ethnic disputes and conflicts is in contrast with the goals of the occupiers, proposing that Iran and Syria can render help to the Iraqi people in this regard.

Regarding the recent developments in Lebanon, he said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that Lebanon must be administered through the wide participation of all the tribes, groups and peoples of that country.

Mottaki also said that the victories of the Lebanese Islamic resistance and united groups against the US and Israeli plots have prevented the said two countries from attaining their goals, adding, “We welcome whatever the result of the Lebanese consensus might be.”

He also voiced support for the Palestinians’ resistance against the aggressions of the Zionist regime, and said, “We support the initiative of Damascus for the issue of Palestine and we believe that any move to prevent discord among Palestinian groups is favored by the regional people.”

For his part, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mualem viewed the two countries’ bilateral ties, economic cooperation and diplomatic exchanges as excellent and unique.

Reminding the meeting of the two countries’ high economic commission next month, he voiced pleasure in the progressive trend of Iran-Syria economic relations.

Mualem further described the present conditions in the region as sensitive and grave, and reiterated the need for the US to adopt a realistic approach towards the region.

He said that Bush’s new Iraq strategy does not include the fundamental points and rather presents a series of elements which sow discord, adding that the said strategy lacks a specific political formation.

The Syrian official said, “The US and regional states’ interests lie in correcting the mistakes.”

He also stressed that the goals pursued by occupiers in Iraq have fomented discord between the Muslim Shiites and Sunnites.

He rejected the idea that there are racial and sectarian differences and disputes in Iraq and called for holding a comprehensive meeting to forge national reconciliation there.

Mualem also briefed Mottaki about his country’s relations with Iraq, and described the recent visit to Damascus by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani as positive and constructive.

“We share many identical views with the Iraqi president and we signed security agreements during his visit to Syria,” he mentioned, while he also voiced support for Iran’s proposal for the arrangement of a ministerial meeting of Iraq’s neighboring states in Baghdad.

The Syrian foreign minister stressed formation of national Iraqi army and withdrawal of foreign troop from that country.

Regarding Palestine, he said that the US and Israeli policies on Hamas have ended up in failure, and pointed out that Hamas has succeeded to display its management power through relying on its popular forces.

Mualem also noted the Lebanese issue and mentioned that the national groups, people and Islamic resistance of Lebanon are fully vigilant about the plots which have been devised by the US and Israel against their country.

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