Zarif in Syria to discuss bilateral, regional issues, including Palestine

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is leading a delegation on a visit to Syria to discuss bilateral and regional issues as well as the latest developments in the Israeli-occupied territories and the Tel Aviv regime’s recent aggression against the sanctities of Muslims.

Speaking to reporters following his Wednesday morning arrival in Damascus, Zarif pointed to the “escalation of criminal actions by the Zionist regime since the International Quds Day” on Friday and “the rare incidents taking place in the al-Aqsa Mosque and occupied territories and the bombing of Gaza.”

He said he planned to discuss the current situation in the occupied Palestine with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad and “other Syrian and Palestinian friends.”

Saying that the latest Israeli atrocities against the Palestinian population “has generated awfully critical circumstances in the region,” the top Iranian diplomat further underlined that “Syria, as one of the leading countries in the resistance axis, plays a very significant role on this matter.”

Earlier this week, a senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei reiterated that the issue of Palestine continued to be one of the top priorities of the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy, adding that Iran would continue to support Palestinians both in words and action.

Ali Akbar Velayati made the remarks during a Sunday webinar held by the World Assembly of Islamic Awakening to mark the International Quds Day.

“The issue of Palestine is still one of the [most] important and prioritized issues for the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Velayati said, adding that Iran shared the same trench with its “Palestinian brethren,” not only in political and diplomatic arenas, but also in the actual field of action and resistance.

Zarif also censured recent Israeli atrocities against Palestinians on Monday, saying that the apartheid regime not only stole people’s land and homes, but also shot innocent worshipers in one of the holiest mosques for Muslims.

Zarif made the statement in a post on his Twitter account, referring to the latest wave of violence by the Israeli forces against the Palestinian people in Jerusalem al-Quds and al-Aqsa Mosque, which has so far seen hundreds of Palestinians injured, many in critical condition, after several days of violent clashes.

Elaborating on his Syria visit’s agenda on Wednesday, the Iranian minister further said, “We are in an extremely delicate situation and we were supposed to visit Syria just ahead of its elections and speak to Syrian friends about this important event.”

The Iranian foreign minister said that in addition to discussing Syrian elections and the Iranian support for the government and people of Syria, he would also hold talks with top officials in Damascus about the country’s path to reconstruction as well as combating terrorism.

During the visit, Zarif is due to meet and hold talks with leaders of various Palestinian groups based in Syria about the latest situation and developments on the ground in the Israeli-occupied territories.

The visit comes after the Syrian foreign minister extended an invitation to his Iranian counterpart during a recent phone conversation, in which he also reported on the domestic situation in Syria, preparations for the forthcoming presidential election, and Damascus’ relations with neighboring countries.

The top Iranian diplomat has toured the Persian Gulf states of Qatar, Iraq, Kuwait, and Oman in recent weeks and discussed with their top officials issues such as bilateral ties as well as regional and international developments.  

Zarif also posted a message on his Instagram account earlier on Wednesday pointing to his plans to visit the region and Europe within the next several days.

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