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Iran welcomes Syria ties with Arab nations

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DAMASCUS: Iran’s top diplomat on Wednesday welcomed efforts to “normalise relations” between some Arab countries and Syria, days after President Bashar al-Assad made a surprise visit to the United Arab Emirates.

Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks on a visit to Damascus during which he met Assad, his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad and National Security Bureau chief Ali Mamlouk.

Amir-Abdollahian welcomed the reconciliation approach by the UAE toward Syria. He added that Tehran was close to reaching an agreement on its nuclear programme with world powers.

Iran has given financial and military support to the Assad regime in Syria’s 11-year war. It says it has deployed forces in Syria at the invitation of Damascus and only as advisers.

“We welcome the fact that some Arab countries are trying to normalise relations with the Syrian Arab Republic by adopting a new approach. We are happy with it,” said Amir-Abdollahian.

Mekdad said the visit was “a good opportunity to review developments in the region and bilateral relations”.

Amir-Abdollahian has travelled to Damascus twice since August last year. His latest visit follows Assad’s trip to the UAE last week, his first to an Arab country since the start of the war.

Published in Dawn, March 24th, 2022

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