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Syrian Foreign Minister Muallim in Tehran as Syria and Iran Reaffirm Ties

April 9, 2009

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallim arrived in Tehran yesterday.  Syria News covers the story here, emphasizing that Syria is not serving as an intermediary between Iran and the West over its nuclear program.  The following quote is telling as to Syria’s role:

وقال المعلم إن “إيران دولة مهمة في منطقتنا تساند قضايانا، وعلينا التعامل معها من هذا المنطلق فسورية تبذل كل جهد ممكن في حال ظهرت خلافات بين إيران وبعض الدول العربية لتقريب وجهات النظر لكنها ليست وسيطا في أي من القضايا”.

Muallim said that, “Iran is an important country in our region, supporting our issues.  We must deal with it from this starting point.  So Syria exerts every effort possible to bring closer the points of view in case differences between Iran and some Arab states appear.  But it is not an intermediary in any of the issues.”

At first glance it seems as Muallim is simply clarifying that Syria is not an intermediary, however the statement also suggests that Syria is concerned with bridging differences between the moderate Arab states and Iran.  I explored this point in greater depth last week here.  Unlike the other Arab states, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who regard Iran as a threat and seek to isolate it, Syria tries to draw Iran deeper into Arab affairs.  Syria’s interests remain tied to Iran and it seeks to legitimize rather than marginalize its influence.

The Syrian daily al-Watan reports on the same meeting in today’s edition.  Muallim and his Iranian counterpart Mounshir Motakki discussed Iraq and the Palestinian affairs.  They also reaffirmed the strategic relationship:

ووصل المعلم إلى طهران أمس في زيارة رسمية بحث خلالها مع متقي العلاقات الثنائية بين البلدين حيث أكد الجانبان أهمية استمرار التعاون والعمل المشترك لتعزيز وتطوير تلك العلاقات في مختلف المجالات.

Muallim arrived in Tehran yesterday on an official visit in the course of which he discussed with Motakki the secondary relations between the two countries where the two sides confirmed the importance of continuing cooperation and mutual work to strengthen and develop those relations in different areas.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kali West 05.12.09 at 12:19

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Please go on like that and don’t stop posting. I hope this comment motivates you to do so, smile
regards, kali

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