Iranian speaker arrives in Damascus
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 21
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani arrived in Damascus on Dec. 21 morning as the first step of an official visit to three regional countries including Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Upon arrival, he was welcomed in the Damascus International Airport by Syria's speaker, Mohammad Jihad al-Laham.
Larijani is accompanied by high-ranking officials from the Foreign Ministry as well as a number of lawmakers.
During the speaker's regional tour which lasts four days, he is scheduled to meet counterparts and also negotiate with high-ranking officials in Damascus, Beirut and Baghdad.
Before leaving Tehran, Larijani said in Mehrabad Airport that the ways of expansion of bilateral, regional and international relations will be discussed during the visit.
The Iranian speaker added that he is also going to discuss terrorism and the resulting unrest in the region.
Last week Syrian Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi and Iraqi Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri made official visits to Tehran and held talks with senior Iranian officials.
The sides discussed issues of mutual interests as well as latest regional developments, according to the Iranian media.
During a joint press conference with al-Jabouri in Tehran, Larijani emphasized that Iran's cooperation with Iraq in fighting terrorism is not just words, it is also practical.
He also said that the sides have made big progress on the issue.
Earlier Iraqi media outlets reported that al-Jabouri will ask Iranian officials to help Iraq in fighting against the IS groups.
The IS(Islamic State, formerly ISIL or ISIS) group was created in 2003 in Iraq. Following the start of military confrontation in Syria between the armed opposition and the government forces, the IS penetrated the country in 2013.
Strengthening of the IS in Syria allowed it to return to Iraq, deploying military actions against government forces there.
In late June of 2014, the IS announced about the creation of the 'Islamic Caliphate' on the territories under its control in Iraq and Syria. In turn, Iraqi authorities asked the international community for help in fighting the IS.
Umid Niayesh is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @UmidNiayesh