Iranian Foreign Minister visits Syria to boost cooperation

Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki warned against a possible "escalation of the crisis in the region" as he arrived in Damascus on Thursday to discuss his country's nuclear program and the situation in Iraq with the Syrian president.

Mottaki, who previously toured Jordan, was greeted at Damascus airport by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and the two drove downtown for talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The Iranian minister told reporters upon arrival that his visit aimed at conducting "political consultations at all levels and over the topics which the region is witnessing." He added that he would discuss with Syrian officials the latest developments on the international arena and bilateral relations.

During his visit, Mottaki stressed Iran's right to possess "nuclear power for peaceful purposes," and warned against any "escalation of the crisis in the region."

Iran faces possible United Nations sanctions if it does not abide by a U.N. resolution to cease enriching uranium, and on Wednesday Syria was hit by a Security Council resolution co-sponsored by the U.S., France and Britain urging it to establish diplomatic relations with Lebanon and respect its neighbor's full independence.

Mottaki said he had been invited to visit Jordan, firm U.S. ally, by his Jordanian counterpart "to discuss ways of boosting bilateral relations and to consult over Iraq and Palestine."

He stressed that Iran and Arab nations in the Mideast shared "identical" views on how to support the Palestinian people and government, which has ceased to receive aid from the West since a Hamas government was elected to office, reports the AP.


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Author`s name: Editorial Team