Iran, Syria discuss strengthening of friendly relations

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh has exchanged views with Syria’s foreign and information ministers, Faisal Mekdad and Imad Abdullah Sarah, on developing relations between the two countries in different sectors.

In a meeting with Mekdad in Damascus on Wednesday, Khatibzadeh reiterated Iran’s support for Syria to realize a solution that would restore security and stability to all Syrian territory and preserve its sovereignty, independence and unity.

The two sides also discussed Iran-Syria ties, particularly in the fields of media, culture and science, as well as the latest regional developments and the importance of enhancing ties in line with the interests of the two friendly states.

Mekdad, for his part, underlined the need for making use of media to thwart the West’s disinformation campaign.

He also called for intensifying attempts to confront common security challenges in the region, denouncing the inhumane economic restrictions imposed by the Western countries on the Syrian nation.

The top Syrian diplomat further reaffirmed Syria’s stance in support of Iran’s position on the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), rejecting efforts to distort the image of Tehran or hold it responsible for the unilateral US withdrawal from the accord in 2018.

Iran began providing Syria with advisory military assistance after numerous countries, at the head of them the US and its Western and regional allies, started funding and arming terrorists with the aim of deposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

Despite initially losing considerable expanses of territory to Daesh and other terror outfits, the Arab country, however, rallied with the help of Iran and Russia, and reversed the balance in favor of itself on the battleground.

In a separate meeting with the Syrian information minister, Khatibzadeh said the countries that targeted Syria failed to achieve their objectives on the battlefield and thus resorted to an economic and media war to “tighten the noose around the Syrian people and mislead public opinion.”

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh (4th-R) meets with Syria’s Information Minister Imad Abdullah Sarah in Damascus on February 24, 2021. (Photo by SANA news agency)

Sarah, in turn, stressed the importance of cooperation between Iran and Syria to confront the media war that targets both nations and distorts facts.

Syria defeated terrorism through the bravery of its people and army, steadfast leadership and support of its friends, and today it is able to confront economic terrorism, he noted.

Mekdad: Disarmament conference no place for settling scores 

In another development on Wednesday, Mekdad complained that some countries try to exploit the Conference on Disarmament to settle scores with the states which oppose their hostile policies.

Speaking at a virtual address to a high-level session of the conference, he said that the politicization of the work of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has distanced the body from its tasks, which were defined by the Chemical Weapons Convention, and constituted a threat to its credibility.

Syria, he added, attaches great importance to the conference as the only multilateral negotiating forum concerned with disarmament.

The US-western pressure on the OPCW is meant to turn the organization into a tool to target a member state and serve their geopolitical interests, Mekdad said.

He also warned that Israel’s possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and its refusal to join the treaties preventing proliferation makes the regime the main source of threat to regional peace and security.

Syria surrendered its entire chemical stockpile in 2013 to a mission led by the United Nations and the OPCW.

The Syrian government has accused foreign-backed terrorists of staging chemical attacks in the country in a bid to falsely incriminate Damascus and fabricate pretexts for military strikes by the US-led military coalition.

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