Ahmadinejad on his way to Syria
Photo: AP
Assad. The host
Photo: AFP
Ahmadinejad, Nasrallah meet in Damascus
Iranian leader meets Hizbullah secretary-general during Syria visit. In meeting with President Assad, he says Iran and Syria 'are united against the enemies of both countries.' Ahmadinejad also set to meet with leaders of terror organizations residing in Damascus

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah in Damascus on Thursday evening, according to the official Iranian news agency IRNA.


Ahmadinejad said during the meeting that "the Lebanese nation can thwart any plot through unity, solidarity and resistance."


He congratulated Nasrallah for the anniversary of Hizbullah's "victory" in the Second Lebanon War, saying that "thanks to the victory, while the Zionist regime is becoming weaker every day, Lebanon is enjoying internal serenity."


In his meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad, the Iranian president said that "Iran and Syria are allies and will remain allies."


According to Ahmadinejad, Iran and Syria "are united against the enemies of the two countries and the region."


Asked about the possibility of another war breaking out in the region, the Iranian president replied, "We hope the summer will bring victories to the region's nations and failures to their enemies." He refused to elaborate.


The Syrian president said during the press conference that the leaders discussed the developments in the Palestinian arena and ways to bring the Palestinian factions back to the negotiations table.


They also discussed the situation in Iraq and Lebanon.


The Iranian president was the first leader to congratulate his Syrian counterpart over his reelection. Before leaving for Damascus, Ahmadinejad said that "the relations between Iran and Syria have a great and important influence on the region and on the entire world."


Earlier Thursday, Ahmadinejad met in Damascus with Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ramadan Shallah and stressed the need for unity between the Palestinian factions.


'Israel trying to compensate for its failures'

The Iranian president called on the region's states to be alert in the face of Israel's attempts to rehabilitate itself after what he defined as its "failure" in the Second Lebanon War.


Ahmadinejad warned that Israel may take action in order to compensate itself for those failures.


"The Zionist regime has lost its ideology of existence and will therefore try to compensate for its failures," Ahmadinejad told Sallah. "This issue should lead to a state of high alert among the region's nations, particularly among the Palestinians and Lebanese."


The IRNA news agency reported that the Iranian president said his country's role in the region was "to support the Palestinian people's armed struggle."


Ahmadinejad called on the Palestinian factions to unite, saying that "in order to win we don’t need many people, but rather unity and solidarity."


The Iranian president is expected to meet with other leaders of Palestinian organizations, including Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal.


First published: 19.07.07, 19:58
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