0541 GMT January 27, 2022
The Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said economic opportunities have been provided in Syria for Iranian firms.
Commenting on his visit to Syria upon arrival in Tehran, he added, “During the trip to Damascus, our mission was to resolve the problems facing [Iranian] private companies,” IRNA reported.
Heading a parliamentary delegation, Qalibaf arrived in the Syrian capital on Tuesday for an official visit to hold high-level talks on various issues, including economic cooperation between Tehran and Damascus.
He noted that given its time and objectives, the visit was of great importance to Iran, as it was paid following the May 26 presidential election in Syria, which ended in Bashar al-Assad’s victory, and “we know that, after a tough battle against the terrorists backed by the US and the Zionist regime, the Syrian people have achieved victory”.
Stressing that at present, economic issues are the most important topic in Syria, Qalibaf said no doubt, under the present circumstances, Iran has been provided with a favorable opportunity and it can make maximum use of the economic prospects offered by the Arab state as it supported Damascus in the fight against the terrorists.
He urged those Iranian private firms, which used to be active in Syria in the past, to use the new economic opportunities provided by the country, saying Iran’s public sectors and organizations should also do the same.
The Parliament speaker added during the visit, it was necessary to discuss and finalize the grounds for the implementation of the all-out agreements previously signed between Tehran and Damascus, emphasizing that he held important meetings with the Syrian president, prime minister and foreign minister as well as Speaker of the People's Council of Syria Hammouda Youssef Sabbagh.
“We also held comprehensive meetings with Iranian and Syrian traders and businessmen.”
Qalibaf gave the assurance that within the next three months, an agreement, finalized between the two countries 18 months ago, will be implemented, saying the two states’ legislative bodies will pursue the process of approving the deal.
Expressing satisfaction with the visit, he noted that in general, comprehensive and fruitful negotiations were held and good coordination was ensured.
Qalibaf listed the Syrian sectors offering lucrative opportunities to Iranian private firms as tourism, mining, industries and agriculture.
In his meeting with Syrian Prime Minister Hussein Arnous in Damascus on Wednesday night, Qalibaf said the US and Israel have turned to economic war and sanctions following failure to defeat the resistance front on the battleground, according to Press TV.
He stressed the need for enhanced trade ties among countries of the resistance axis to foil the pair’s economic plots.
“They [the US and Israel] are convinced that they cannot defeat Iran or the [broader] resistance front militarily, and that is why they have resorted to economic war and sanctions.”
Commenting on the US military’s unlawful presence on the Syrian soil, he said such measures “will bring them no results. That is the reason why they have stood up against the people using media and economic wars”.
“Today, the resistance front is facing an economic war,” Qalibaf added, noting, “We can defeat the enemy in the economic war as well through joint cooperation in the economic and trade sectors.”
The top Iranian parliamentarian said although countries of the resistance front enjoy good political and security cooperation, their economic interactions do not stand at a satisfactory level, warning, “If this situation continues, the resistance front will be facing a serious risk.”
Just hours after Qalibaf met the Syrian president, the US Treasury Department announced new sanctions against the Syrian government and other groups operating alongside the Syrian Army against terrorism in the Arab country, which is recovering from almost a decade of foreign-sponsored militancy.
The Syrian prime minister said efforts were underway to solve the problems facing tradesmen and enterprises of the two countries' private sectors with the purpose of improving trade cooperation.
He also said Syria would also adopt measures to settle some banking issues hampering trade between the two states.
On the Syrian president’s order to forge closer relations with Iran in all fields, Arnous said Tehran and Damascus should work to increase economic cooperation as much as possible.
He also commended Iran’s support for Syria in the Arab state’s efforts to stand against terrorist groups.
Enhanced ties stressed
The Iranian Parliament speaker expressed the same positions in a separate meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad.
Qalibaf said defeating the US- and Israeli-backed terror groups following a decade of “difficult battles” marked “a great victory” for the Syrian nation.
In the face of the victory, he added, the US and Israel have concluded that they will not be able to defeat the resistance front through warfare or proxy war.
“They have, therefore, dragged the war to the economic field in order to exert pressure on the people of the Muslim states, especially the resistance front,” said Qalibaf, describing increased interactions among those countries as the only way to foil the plot.
To achieve that goal, he said, there is a need to remove the obstacles and pave the way for businessmen, industries, and all those active in the private economic sector.
The Syrian foreign minister said Tehran and Damascus currently enjoy the best level of political and security ties and should promote relations in all fields to the highest possible level.
Mekdad added that the resistance front is gaining more power in the region.