Iran’s Raeisi: Syria Visit a ‘Turning Point’ in Bilateral Ties
Orinoco Tribune, May 7, 2023 —
President Raeisi has described his two-day visit to Syria as a turning point in promoting economic, political and security relations, saying the aim of the trip was to honor the spirited resistance of the Syrian government and nation.
“Given the Islamic Republic of Iran’s 12-year-long support for Syria-based resistance groups as well as the steadfastness of the Syrian nation and government against conspiracies and seditious plots of the enemies, the two-day trip to the Arab country is of paramount importance to both countries and the region,” Raeisi said at Mehrabad airport in Tehran early on Friday upon return from Damascus.
Iran and Syria enjoy ample potentials and grounds for cooperation to improve economic ties, President Raeisi said, adding he mainly discussed financial and trade issues during meetings with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad.
Cooperating in the field of power generation and transmission, setting up a joint bank and an insurance company, reducing trade tariffs between the two countries, expanding transit facilities between Iran, Iraq, and Syria as well as reviving Syria’s agricultural, industrial and energy sectors were among the primary issues included in the 14 cooperation documents signed between the two sides, he added.
A final communiqué issued at the end of Raeisi’s two-day official visit to Syria, which started on Wednesday and was the first by an Iranian president to the Arab nation in over 13 years, stated that the two sides expressed satisfaction over joint cooperation in the fight against terrorism and extremism, and emphasized that they will continue working together until the total annihilation of all terrorist groups in Syria.
Raeisi and Assad also held in-depth talks on ways to further develop and strengthen cordial and strategic relations between Tehran and Damascus, and exchanged viewpoints on the latest regional and international developments.
The two presidents underlined the need to respect each other’s national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity in accordance with the objectives and principles of the United Nations Charter.
They went on to emphasize the importance of cementing mutual ties through continuation of political, economic and consular interactions, as well as exchange of high-ranking delegations between the two countries.
The two sides also expressed readiness and willingness to take appropriate measures aimed at further promotion of bilateral commercial and economic relations through existing mechanisms such as the Joint High Commission for Economic Cooperation. They stressed the potential areas of cooperation in Syria’s post-war era of reconstruction and development.
Raeisi and Assad condemned in the strongest terms the recurrent Israeli air raids on various areas across Syria and described them as a destabilizing factor in the Middle East region, and pointed to Syria’s legitimate right to respond to such acts of aggression in a proper manner.
They denounced the continued Israeli occupation of Syrian Golan Heights, and the Tel Aviv regime’s decision to annex the strategic plateau in flagrant violation of the international law.
The two sides also censured the US government’s decision to recognize Israeli control of the territory, which has been under an Israeli military occupation since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.
Raeisi and Assad also condemned the presence of foreign occupation forces on Syrian soil as “illegal,” and called for cessation of such deployments.
They stressed the need for the Damascus government to increase its sovereignty throughout Syria, and denounced the US military’s continued plundering of Syrian crude oil and natural resources.
The two presidents demanded a decisive response from the international community to stop such actions.
The two sides also strongly condemned the unilateral and illegitimate sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union against Iran and Syria, stating that the coercive measures are in breach of international laws and humanitarian principles.
They underlined that the sanctions affect innocent people and adversely affect them, calling for an immediate end to such inhumane measures.
Raeisi also stressed that the Islamic Republic will stand by Syria in the reconstruction of quake-devastated areas, and condemned the continuation of illegal and cruel Western sanctions against Syria.
The two sides emphasized the need to immediately break Syria’s siege in order to receive international aid and assistance for the reconstruction of earthquake-hit regions.
Raeisi and Assad finally hailed the recent reconciliation between Iran and Saudi Arabia in a agreement brokered by China, terming rapprochement as an important step towards establishment of stability throughout the Middle East.