Damascus and Tehran continue to tighten ties. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus on Wednesday and the two discussed "the regional security threats posed by the Zionist regime."
Syrian news agency SANA reported that the president and foreign minister discussed recent developments in the Middle East, and in particular the deadly border skirmish between Israel and Lebanon last week, in which Israeli Lieutenant-Colonel Dov Harari was killed.
Both Assad and Mottaki declared that they would support Lebanon against Israel's "aggression".
The two also discussed the situation in the Palestinian territories and said efforts should be boosted to put an end to what they called the "Israeli violations" in the Palestinian territories, "and in particular the Judaization of Jerusalem and the expulsion of Palestinians from their lands."
They also said Israel must lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip.
Mottaki (L) wish Assad in Damascus (Photo: AFP)
The Syrian president and Iranian foreign minister also discussed cooperation on the situation in Iraq. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem and the Iranian ambassador to Iran also attended the meeting.
Earlier, Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr lashed out at a US decision to halt aid to his country's army in the wake of the deadly border clash with Israel, protesting that aid was being made conditional.
"Whoever sets as a condition that the aid should not be used to protect Lebanon's land, people and borders from the (Israeli) enemy can keep their money," Murr told a news conference. "Let them keep their money or give it to Israel. We will confront (Israel) with the capabilities we own."
Murr's comments came after Iran's ambassador to Lebanon, Ghazanfar Roknabadi, said Tehran was ready to help the Lebanese army in a meeting with army chief Jean Kahwaji, according to Iran's official IRNA agency.
The border incident led to a deterioration in ties between Beirut and Washington, but gave way for the Islamic Republic's involvement, and its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is slated to visit Beirut next month.
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