Syrian prime minister heads for Tehran
( IRNA ) - Syrian Prime Minister Naji al-Otari left Damascus for Tehran Wednesday at the head of a high-ranking delegation to attend the 5th session of the Iran-Syria Joint High Council.
Syrian Minister of Electricity Ahmad Khalid al-Ali, Minister of Agriculture Adil Safir, Minister of Industry Fuad Isa Juni, Minister of Transport Yarub Sulayman Badr and Minister of Health Mahir Husami are accompanying the premier in his Tehran visit.
The Syrian delegation was seen off at Damascus' international airport by Iran's Charge d'Affaires in Syria Ghazanfar Roknabadi.
The Iran-Syria Joint High Council meeting, co-chaired by Iranian First Vice-President Parviz Davoudi and al-Otari, is held alternately in the two countries' capitals annually.
Meanwhile, Syrian Minister of Economy and Trade Amir Husni Lutfi and Oil Minister Sufiyan al-Aw were in Tehran this week to attend the 8th session of the Iran-Syria Joint Economic Commission.
Iran's Minister of Housing and Urban Development Mohammad Saeedi-Kia and Syria's Lutfi co-chaired the commission session, which is held every six months either in Damascus or Tehran.
During his stay, the Syrian premier is to hold talks with senior Iranian officials on ways to step up bilateral cooperation in the economic field, implement joint projects and increase joint investment in each other's territory.
Tehran-Damascus cooperation in the export of technical and engineering services and joint industrial projects already implemented or still under implementation by Iranian companies is estimated at USD 1 billion.
Trade exchanges between the two countries were valued at USD 100 million in 2006 with the two sides' senior officials saying there was a potential to raise this figure to USD 3 billion.