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Turkmani with Ahmadinejad Photo: AFP
Turkmani with Ahmadinejad Photo: AFP
 
General Safawi Photo: AFP
General Safawi Photo: AFP
 
 

Syria says willing to up cooperation with Iran

While Israel hopes renewal of peace talks will lead Damascus to sever relations with Iran, Syria seems to be signaling it may even be boosting existing ties with Tehran

Dudi Cohen
Published: 05.27.08, 13:37 / Israel News

Syrian Defense Minister Hassan Turkmani said on Tuesday that his country was prepared to increase its military cooperation with Iran.

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The Iranian news agency 'Fars' reports Turkmani expressed this willingness to General Yahya Rahim Safawi, a trusted military advisor of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the former commander of the Revolutionary Guards.

 

"Iran and Syria share the same viewpoint regarding regional issues and efforts will be made to strengthen our shared interests and bilateral relations," said Turkmani, who was dispatched to Tehran to reassure the outraged Iranian leadership following the resumption of negotiations with Israel.

 

The defense minister confirmed the statement released by the Iranian defense ministry regarding Syria's intent to increase military cooperation with its chief ally.

 

This is the third day of Turkmani's visit, the first for a senior-ranking Syrian official since the talks between Israel and Syria were made public. On Monday Turkmani labeled his country's relationship with Iran as "historic and strategic."

 

During his visit, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad urged Syria not to desert "the fight against the Zionist regime."

 

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