The Iranian president's planned visit to southern Lebanon is raising fears in Syria of all places. According to reports, Syrian President Bashar Assad has suggested that his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, postpone his trip as "this is not the right time."
Kuwaiti newspaper al-Anbaa on Wednesday quoted diplomatic sources as saying that Ahmadinejad's scheduled visit to Lebanon in about two weeks was raised during his latest meeting with Assad in Damascus, about 10 days ago.
According to the report, the Syrian leader asked the Iranian counterpart why he wanted to visit the region, in light of the exchange of diplomatic messages between the two countries.
The Iranian president explained that the visit was important due to the strategic significance of the Marjayoun area, adding that he viewed the entire area as Iran's border with Israel.
According to the same sources, the Syrian president replied that he believed the visit should not be held at this time. Assad expressed his hope that Ahmadinejad would tone down his statement during the visit, as the Israelis "feel insecure" and Lebanon's security was very important to Syria's security interests.
According to the report, at the end of the meeting the Iranian president promised to "seriously consider" the Syrian president's recommendations.
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