First Published: 2013-01-14

 

Syria PM leads high-ranking delegation to valued ally Iran

 

Halaqi's trip comes as air strike kills 13 women, children, fuelling calls for war crimes probe into nearly two-year Syrian conflict.

 

Middle East Online

Iran: Syria’s ally to bitter end

TEHRAN - Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halaqi visits on Tuesday Iran, his country's key regional ally, a week after Syrian rebels freed 48 Iranians held hostage for more than five months, the foreign ministry said.

"The Syrian prime minister, leading a high-ranking political and economic delegation, arrives in Tehran tomorrow," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted by the ISNA news agency on Monday.

He did not provide further details about the visit.

Halaqi's trip comes as an air strike on a rebel town near Damascus killed 13 women and children on Monday, a watchdog said, fuelling international calls for a war crimes probe into the nearly two-year Syrian conflict.

On Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi urged Middle East nations to promote a solution for Syria's conflict that excludes "foreign intervention," after talks in Cairo with Egyptian leaders.

The renewed statement of Tehran's position on its key ally came as fighting dragged on in Syria, where more than 60,000 people have been killed since March 2011, according to a UN estimate.

It also came a day after the Damascus regime freed more than 2,100 of its detainees in exchange for 48 Iranians the Syrian rebels had been holding for more than five months.

Iran has repeatedly advocated a political solution and dialogue between the government and opposition groups to end the Syrian crisis and in October Salehi gave Syria peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi a six-point plan to end the crisis.

Tehran is committed to the survival of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his regime.

It has supplied financial aid and admitted to sending Revolutionary Guards military advisors to Damascus, but does not consider that "foreign" interference on its part.

 

Pressure on multiple fronts squeezes rebels in northern Syria

Iraq prepares for Mosul offensive with massive deployment

US welcomes Saudi offer to deploy troops in Syria

Mubarak era ‘reappears’ five years after his ouster

IEA holds OPEC responsible for oil supply glut

Eight killed in Damascus car bomb attack

Iraqi woman charged over US hostage death

Gunbattle between Yemeni forces, Qaeda militants in Aden

UAE tries 'Hezbollah', 'Qaeda' cell members

Israel sets two conditions for return of Palestinian bodies

Moscow denies accusation that air strikes undermined Syria talks

Israeli general says IS wounded were treated in Gaza

Doctors, police protest in northern Iraq

Canada to cease all air strikes against ISIS by February 22

Outraged Italy demands answers over brutal killing of student in Egypt

Libya Presidential Council needs ‘more time’ to form unity government

Bahrain charges 11 with forming 'terrorist' group

Obama to Arab countries: security requires 'inclusive government'

Tunnel collapse kills one Gazan man on Egypt border

South Sudan war zones on the brink of famine

Khamenei to Iran officials: Don’t let elections distract you!

UN accuses Assad regime of 'extermination' in jails

At least 35 migrants drown in two accidents in Aegean Sea

Cameron's office warns Brexit could affect border controls

Russia detains seven alleged IS members

Turkey groups send in aid for thousands of Syria refugees on border

Syria rebels withdraw from three Aleppo villages

Saudi intercepts Scud missile from Yemen

Merkel heads to Turkey to press for tighter border controls

Turkey promises to let in Syria refugees 'if necessary'

Hamas armed branch executes one of its own members

Syria army advances towards rebel town of Tal Rifaat

Netherlands probes civilian casualties in Iraq air strikes

Algeria parliament adopts Bouteflika’s constitutional reforms

Erdogan asks Americans: Who’s your partner, Turkey or Kurds?

UAE ready to send ground troops to Syria

Tunisia completes construction of Libya border fence

Algeria parliament to vote on constitutional reforms

Egypt returns body of Italian student Giulio Regeni

Iran reverses mass ban on candidates for parliamentary polls

Thousands of Syria refugees brave bad weather at border with Turkey

New photos reveal serious abuse of Iraq prisoners in US facilities

EU reminds Turkey: Keep your border open to Syria refugees

Somalia recaptures key port of Merka from Shebab

Iran warns Saudi Arabia over possible ground action in Syria