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.

 

5 killed in string of suicide bombings in Lebanon

Netanyahu lauds Israel’s deal with Turkey

Iraq forces take ISIS last positions in Fallujah

One year on, Tunisia holds minute silence for beach massacre victims

Iran cracks down on ‘Western culture’ of canine ownership

Turkey allows German minister visit after air base row

UN chief tells Israelis, Palestinians 'stand firm against violence'

Brexit vote unlikely to curtail Gulf appetite for London property

Egypt cancels high school final exam after online leaks

Dozens killed as clashes intensify in Yemen

Sarraj says only united military can defeat ISIS in Libya

Jordan court charges 21 people with 'terrorism'

Iran conceals heated military standoff in Kurdish region

Brexit vote lays bare depth of division across Britain

Young Britons vent anger at grey Brexit vote

Russia planes pound Aleppo as Syria regime forces closes in

Car bomb kills four civilians in Libya's Benghazi

US-backed Syria fighters edge further into ISIS border hub

Tunisia flaunts seaside security to bring back tourists

Britain and EU: A fraught divorce

Libya govt. forces repel ISIS counterattack in Sirte

Oil slides on British referendum result

Crashed EgyptAir black boxes to go to France for repairs

5,000 migrants rescued from rubber dinghies in Mediterranean

Britain votes to break away from EU, PM resigns

Turkey acquits British academic over 'terror propaganda' charges

24 jailed in Bahrain for forming IS cell

Iraq commander says forces control over 80% of Fallujah

Israel sentences 4 Palestinians to life

Turkey in new quest to patch up with regional foes

Defiant Bahrain moves to dissolve opposition bloc

Kurdish-Arab forces push into IS Syria bastion of Manbij

Yemen govt says rebels must withdraw before any transition

Turkey confirms new accession talks with EU

Saudi suspect found dead after gunfight in Shiite town

Suspended Kuwait sues IOC for damages

Erdogan lashes out at EU treatment of Turkey

UN Chief, Saudi prince discuss situation in Yemen

Turkey blocks visit of German delegation to Incirlik air base

Trump goes on blistering offensive against Clinton

EU negotiators endorse new border force proposal

Head of EU parliament hopes to arrange meeting of Israeli, Palestinian leaders

Turkish prosecutors demand 14 years for activists

Final push for votes as EU leaders warn over Brexit

Egypt government appeals court block on islands’ transfer to Saudis