Iran, Syria keen to strengthen ties
Iranian Caretaker Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says the strategic relationship between Tehran and Damascus should be strengthened, Press TV reported.
Salehi made the remarks at a meeting with visiting Syrian Parliament Speaker Mahmoud al-Abrash in Tehran on Saturday.
He underlined Syria's important role among Muslim and Arab nations.
Salehi also lauded Damascus for its support of Tehran's nuclear energy program.
Al-Abrash said Syria wants to cooperate more closely with Iran in all spheres and added that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad wants to strengthen bilateral ties with Tehran.
Earlier in the day, Abrash met with his Iranian counterpart Ali Larijani. The two parliament speakers discussed regional and bilateral issues as well as the enhancement of parliamentary relations.
Abrash and a Syrian parliamentary delegation traveled to Iran on the formal invitation of Larijani.
The Syrian parliament speaker is also scheduled to meet other high-ranking Iranian officials during his four-day stay.
Iran and Syria have common stances on many regional and international issues. In recent years, the two countries have stepped up their efforts to improve relations in various areas.
Bilateral trade between the two countries currently stands at $3 billion and is expected to reach $5 billion in the near future.
Last October, Assad paid an official visit to Tehran and held talks with senior Iranian officials.