PRESIDENT Bashar al-Assad of Syria on Wednesday received the Chairman of the Iranian Shura Council’s Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security Alaeddin Boroujerdi and the accompanying delegation.
Talks during the meeting dealt with the fraternal relations between Syria and Iran and the mutual commitment of both countries’ leaderships to continue bolstering cooperation and coordination on all levels and in all fields.
They also discussed the regional developments and the continuing support provided by some states and regional forces for terrorists whom they use as a pawn to pursue these states’ interests at the expense of the region’s people and to undermine stability and spread chaos.
Boroujerdi stressed that the determination and steadfastness of the Syrian people and the strength of their army and leadership are capable of defeating terrorism and its supporters, asserting that Iran is committed to continuing its support and will spare no effort to help Syrians until victory is achieved.
He affirmed that no force in the world can affect the unique relationship between the Syrians and the Iranians and their commitment to realising their mutual interests and restoring stability in the region.
For his part, President al-Assad thanked the Iranian government and people for their support to Syria in the face of terrorism, asserting that the escalation of the war against Syrians by terrorists and their supporters and the use of lies and propaganda to achieve what they couldn’t achieve on the ground has failed and will always fail to undermine the Syrians’ steadfastness and determination to eliminate terrorism with the help of friendly states like Iran.
The President congratulated Iran for the achievements that have been made regarding the Iranian nuclear issue, saying that the Syrian people, like all other peoples who are committed to their sovereignty and independent decision-making, view these achievements as a victory for all those who believe in their just rights and causes.
The meeting was attended by Director of the National Security Bureau Gen. Ali Mamluk and Iranian Ambassador in Damascus Mohammad Reza Raouf Sheibani.
Afterwards, Chairman of the Iranian Shura Council’s Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security Alaeddin Boroujerdi said that his visit to Syria was to speak out loud in the face of the false media campaigns and to stress that his country is still standing by the Syrian government and people as a big part of the war against Syria is a psychological one.
Boroujerdi, during his meeting on Wednesday with Speaker of the People’s Assembly, Mohammad Jihad al-Laham, hailed the steadfastness of the Syrian Arab Army in Jisr al-Shugour city, wishing that the army will defeat terrorism in the city again.
He indicated that the greatest pressures on Iran with regard to the nuclear file are exerted by Israel and Saudi Arabia which is adopting the policy of the Zionist entity, the enemy of the Arab and Islamic World, and it is a shame on Saudi Arabia to do that.
For his part, al-Laham stressed that the Syrian-Iranian relations have been a main factor of stability in the region and have guaranteed the rights of the peoples of the two countries in the face of Western greed, adding that countering extremism and terrorism in the region entails joint regional and international efforts and an honest international will in the face of terrorism.
Al-Laham indicated that what is currently taking place in Yemen is an aggressive war against its people and is part and parcel of the terrorist war launched against Syria and Iraq and it is a part of the scheme of spreading terrorism and chaos and partitioning the states of the region and undermining their peoples.
‘It is time to take a decisive stance in the face of the killers of culture, history and people,’ al-Laham said.
In a statement after the meeting, Boroujerdi said that the recent act of entering the Syrian territories illegally by the Turkish Prime Minister was illogical and that it violates all international laws and accords, stressing the need for exposing the governments that facilitate the entry of terrorists to Syria in the media.
Answering a question on his assessment of Iran’s invitation (by the UN) to the latest consultations in Geneva, Boroujerdi said, ‘They reached a result that they shouldn’t repeat the mistakes which they committed in Geneva 1 and 2, as our policies are based on solving the crisis internally among the Syrians themselves and we reject any foreign interference and consequently, the countries which claim that they support democracy should allow the Syrian people to choose their fate by themselves.’
He also announced that an Iranian economic delegation headed by Advisor to the First Deputy of the Iranian President, Rostam Ghasemi, will visit Syria next week to follow up on signed agreements, adding that Iran is prepared to host a meeting for heads of parliaments of states that are friendly towards Syria.
Earlier on Wednesday, Boroujerdi renewed his country’s full support to Syria in facing terrorism and the Takfiri terrorists who threaten the whole world.
In a statement to a SANA reporter in Tehran before leaving for Damascus, Boroujerdi said that, ‘Our visit to Syria stems from our feeling of great responsibility towards the country, and to strongly express our full support to it … This visit also aims at firmly stressing our rejection of the western-US-Zionist schemes and conspiracies targeting Syria.’
He clarified that the visit is meant to provide support to the Syrians by the Iranian Shura Council and the Iranian people in confronting terrorism and the Takfiri ideology as well as the schemes that are targeting Syria to boost its resilience after four years of steadfastness and firmness only to prove that victory is Syria’s ally and the Syrians are to definitely overcome the crisis.
Boroujerdi stressed that repercussions of the unethical act of the USA, the West and their tools in the region – supporting terrorism and terrorists – will rebound on them, and they are now worried that their citizens would come back home after getting involved in terrorism.
He stressed that terrorists and those behind them will not fulfill their goals in Syria and their schemes will fall apart.
• Syria’s security services chief Ali Mamluk attended the meeting between President Bashar al-Assad and the Iranian official on Wednesday, after a newspaper claimed he was under house arrest for plotting a coup.
Mamluk’s presence at the meeting, which was reported by the official news agency SANA, came after Britain’s Telegraph newspaper said the top regime official had been sidelined.
SANA said Mamluk was among the attendees at the meeting between Assad and the head of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee, Alaeddin Boroujerdi.
The news agency and the official social media accounts of the Syrian presidency also published a photo of the meeting, showing Mamluk in attendance and seated next to Assad.
The Telegraph had reported on Monday that Mamluk, who heads the powerful National Security Bureau, was under house arrest after being accused of contacting countries that back Syria’s opposition, as well as exiled members of the Syrian regime.
It is almost unheard of for Syrian media to report on Mamluk’s activities and publish photos of him, suggesting his presence was a direct rebuttal of the claims of his arrest.
Mamluk’s presence at the meeting also appeared particularly symbolic as the Telegraph had said Mamluk was angry about the growing influence of Iran in Syria.
Tehran is a key ally of Assad’s embattled regime, and has dispatched military advisors to guide his forces against an uprising that began in March 2011.
• Preoccupied for more than a year by the Ukraine crisis, NATO foreign ministers meeting in Turkey this week will focus on instability on the alliance’s southern flank, ranging from Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to turmoil in Libya.
By meeting in Turkey, which shares a 1,200 km (750-mile) border with Iraq and Syria, NATO hopes to show it is responsive to the concerns of its southern members, as well as reinforcing eastern European allies worried by Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
‘You’ve got, to the east, to the southeast and to the south, pretty fundamental security challenges for NATO,’ US Ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute told reporters ahead of Wednesday’s and Thursday’s meetings in Antalya.
Lute spoke of an ‘arc of instability’ around the east and south of the alliance, where the ‘maybe failed state of Libya’ served as a funnel for illegal immigration from countries such as northern Nigeria, Mali, Niger and Somalia.
Libya has descended into lawlessness since rebels overthrew strongman Muammar Gadaffi in 2011 with the help of a NATO bombing campaign.
NATO as an organisation has not been highly active militarily in the south recently, although all of its member nations are part of the US-led coalition against Islamic State. It also sent Patriot anti-missile systems to defend Turkey from possible attack from war-torn Syria.
The alliance is considering a request from Iraq for help training its army. But it says the security situation in Libya must improve before it could help train Libyan security forces.