Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that relations between Iran and Syria are “strategic” and Iran will stand by the Syrian people and government as a “strategic ally,” the state TV reported.
“With no doubt we (Iran and Syria) must continue our resistance to the end and finalize destruction of terrorists,” Rouhani said in a meeting with visiting Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad.
Rouhani also voiced Iran’s support for the Syrian government’s efforts in constitutional reform and for the Astana peace process which he described as “useful and capable of preserving Syria’s interests and territorial integrity.”
He also denounced the U.S. sanction pressures on both Iran and Syria.
For his part, Mekdad praised Tehran-Damascus political relations as “very close and exemplary” in the world.
He also condemned the assassinations of Iranian senior military commander Qassem Soleimani and Iran’s top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
Mekdad also held talks with Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani earlier in the day and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday.
The Syrian foreign minister arrived in Tehran on Monday for a two-day visit. It was Mekdad’s first foreign visit since he was appointed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Nov. 22 after his predecessor Walid al-Moallem died on Nov. 16.
Iran has been a major ally of the Syrian government in its fight against the armed rebels since 2011.
Egypt calls for comprehensive solution to crisis between Arab quartet, Qatar
Egypt called on Tuesday for a comprehensive solution to the years-long rift between Qatar and the Arab quartet of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain.
In a statement, the Egyptian foreign ministry said Egypt values the ongoing efforts by Kuwait to end the crisis that has lasted several years between Qatar and the Arab quartet.
“We hope that those endeavors will result in a comprehensive solution that addresses all the reasons for this crisis and guarantees strict and serious commitment to implement what will be agreed upon,” said Ahmed Hafez, spokesman of the ministry.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have severed all diplomatic and economic relations with Qatar since June 2017, citing Qatar’s interference in their internal affairs and its support for the terrorist organizations. Qatar has repeatedly denied all the charges.
The Arab quartet later presented a 13-item list of demands, which were rejected by Qatar for them being linked to its sovereignty.
Kuwait has since been mediating between them to try to break the ice.