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.

 

Egypt declares three-month state of emergency in Sinai

Lebanon army attacks Islamists as violence spreads to Tripoli souks

Iraq MPs divide over Kurds deployment to aid Kobane

Punishment for sexual assault in Iran: Execution of victim!

Morocco fossils: A rare and vanishing treasure

Germany offers to help Armenia forge peace with Turkey

Libya wakes up from ‘Dubai dream’ to face Somalia-like ‘failed state’

South Yemen separatists vow to intensify secession protests

Relatives of Iraq massacre victims: Blackwater guards should be killed

Ghannouchi makes it clear to Tunisia: It’s either political Islam or Daesh!

Deadly clashes erupt after army raid in northern Lebanon

200 Iraqi Kurd fighters to travel through Turkey to Kobane

Coalition strikes in Syria eliminate more than 500 jihadists in one month

Ahead of elections, new clashes remind Tunisia of need to fight terror

Saudi Arabia jails mothers for preparing sons to wage jihad

Jury finds Blackwater guards guilty of 2007 'massacre' in Iraq

Iraq Kurds approve reinforcements for Kobane

Israel classifies car crash as ‘hit and run terror attack’

Turkish woman arrested for stepping on Koran

Erdogan criticises US for airdrops on Kobane

Iraq schools provide shelter but late to open for classes

Syria air force shoots down two of three 'IS warplanes'

Egypt court rules on ‘Nasr City terror cell’

Fire from Egypt wounds two Israeli soldiers near border

By hook or by crook, settlers notch up property gains in East Jerusalem

Turkey envoy meets leader of parallel government in Libya

Israel arrests seven Palestinian fishermen off northern Gaza

Khamenei to Abadi: Iraq can beat 'Islamic State' without foreign troops

Saudi special court rules in cases of riots and terrorism

Libya army scores small victory in Benghazi

Only in Libya: Government calls for civil disobedience

Kasserine reaps bitter harvest from Tunisia revolution: Poverty and terrorism

Iraq Kurds set to vote on deployment of Peshmerga forces to Syria

Islamic State ‘share in US weapons’ embarrasses Pentagon

Alderton: Morocco unrivalled business gateway to sub-Saharan Africa

Protests over IS turn Istanbul University into war zone

Turkey eyes stricter punishment against lawbreakers at protests

For Sudan President: Promises are something and re-election is something else

Iran returns Abadi to ‘house of obedience’

From traditional military to counterinsurgency force: Syria army grows more capable

South Sudan rivals accept 'responsibility' for civil war

British drones in Iraq also used for Syria surveillance

Turkey launches new wave of wire-tapping arrests

Rise of Shiite militias challenges government authority in Iraq

Syria Kurds show impressive resistance to ‘Islamic State’ in Kobane