Leading a high-ranking delegation, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif traveled to the Syrian capital on Monday morning amid the pandemic to hold talks with Syrian officials.
This was Zarif’s first visit to a foreign country in almost the past two months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Zarif last met with Assad during a visit to Damascus in April last year.
During yesterday’s meeting, the two sides discussed the latest developments in Syria, the assassination of Lt. Gen. Soleimani, Iran’s support for the resistance, US sanctions against both countries and the related issues on coronavirus.
According to some experts, paying a visit at this level under the current world conditions shows that ties between Tehran and Damascus have gone beyond conventional and diplomatic equations.
The visit of Iranian and Syrian officials has been reflected in some world media outlets.
“Photographs posted to the Iranian government’s Twitter account showed Assad and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wearing masks and gloves as they met on April 20 in the Syrian capital, Damascus,” wrote Radio Free Europe on Monday evening.
“The two men used the meeting to criticize the United States for not lifting sanctions imposed on both countries,” it added.
“Iran’s foreign minister used a meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad on Monday to call on the US to lift sanctions imposed on both countries, during his first visit to the war-ravaged country in a year,” reported the New Arab.
“Zarif hits out at US’s refusal to lift sanctions on Iran, Syria,” wrote Aljazeera in its report, adding, “During the visit to Syria, Zarif said the US showed inhumane face to the world by refusing to lift sanctions during the pandemic.”
China Global Television Network (CGTN) also covered the visit of Zarif to Syria, saying, “Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Monday, just days after an alleged Israeli drone strike in the war-torn country.”
“Zarif’s visit was seen by political analysts in Syria as seeking cooperation between the two countries to deal with the threat of the outbreak in the face of external sanctions,” it added.
Haaretz covered the remarks of FM Zarif in his meeting with Syrian President.
“Zarif said America had shown its inhumane face to the world by refusing to lift sanctions during the pandemic,” it wrote.
“Zarif, who landed in Syria for a one-day visit, met with Assad and Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moalem to discuss bilateral ties and regional developments as well as the latest political and field developments with regard to Syria’s fight against terrorism,” The Jerusalem Post reported referring to the statement of Iran’s foreign ministry.
“It was the first meeting between the two in about a year since Zarif visited Damascus in April of last year,” it added.
It also covered the reasons behind Zarif’s trip to Damascus by Iran’s Mehr News, saying, “His trip to Damascus was to reaffirm Tehran’s role in Syria.”
Stating, “The day before, veteran journalist Abdel Bari Atwan claimed that US intelligence agencies and Washington’s regional allies are trying to take advantage of Damascus’s battle with the COVID-19 pandemic to consolidate their control over Syrian oil fields east of the Euphrates,” Mideast Discourse covered the trip of Zarif to Syria.
France 24 wrote about the remarks of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“Assad criticized the United States for keeping economic sanctions in place on countries like Syria and Iran “despite these exceptional humanitarian conditions,” it reported.
France 24 also mentioned the visit of Iranian foreign minister with his Syrian counterpart.
“Zarif and Assad, both wearing masks, discussed the peace talks, which have been frozen since the outbreak of the global pandemic forced the suspension of all non-essential travel,” wrote La Prensa Latina.
“The economic terrorism imposed on the people of the two countries by the United States, whom Zarif and Assad also accused of politicizing the coronavirus crisis,” it added.
Malaysia’s The Star in this regard reported, “Wearing face masks, Syria’s Assad and Iran’s Zarif condemn West at Damascus meeting.”
“Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javid Zarif wore face masks on Monday for their meeting in Damascus where they said the West was exploiting the coronavirus pandemic for political ends,” it said.
Pakistan’s The International News also reported about this visit and referred to Iranian FM’s remarks, saying, “Zarif said that “the US real agenda in not lifting its cruel sanctions on countries fighting this disease has now become clear.”