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President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday warned that the danger of Wahhabi thinking has become a threat to the entire world and not just the region’s countries.

The President was speaking during a meeting with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and the accompanying delegation, during which talks dealt with the developments in the region and the common challenges facing its countries, foremost being the epidemic of terrorism and extremist takfiri thinking.

President al-Assad added that the Syrian people and some of the region’s peoples have become aware of the seriousness of this terrorist thinking and that everybody should contribute to confronting and eradicating it.

The Iranian Minister affirmed his country’s keenness on unifying the efforts of the region’s countries to counter the challenges the region is faced with and combat terrorism to achieve security and stability in it.

Discussions also tackled the preparations underway for Geneva 2 conference, with Zarif expressing the Iranian leadership and people’s support for Syria in its efforts to make the conference a success.

bashar-al-assad_Mohammad-Javad-ZarifThe Iranian Minister reiterated stress that the solution to the crisis in Syria is in the hands of the Syrians themselves as they are the only ones entitled to determine their country’s future.

Zarif conveyed to President al-Assad the Iranian leadership’s keenness to continue coordination and consultation with Syria in the various issues and its determination to further bolster cooperation relations between the two peoples in all areas in a way that serves their interests and those of the region’s peoples.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem, Presidential Political and Media Advisor Buthaina Shaaban and Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Faissal Mikdad.

Zarif also met with Speaker of the People’s Assembly Mohammad Jihad al-Laham, discussing with him bilateral and parliamentary relations, with al-Laham affirming that the strong relations between Syria and Iran will continue to be an element of stability in the region and guarantee its rights in the face of Western plots that seek to divide and fragment it.

In the same framework, Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi met Zarif and discussed with him the future of economic relations between the two countries and means to develop them, in addition to discussing activating the credit line and providing the Syrian people’s needs of food, supplies and petroleum products.

Premier al-Halqi said that Syria is looking forward to further developing economic relations with Iran to match the level of political relations between the two countries, particularly in the fields of petroleum, electricity, health and trade.

Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem, held a similar meeting with Zarif, discussing with him the latest development in the region and bilateral relations.

Upon his arrival in Damascus International Airport on Wednesday morning, Zarif called on all sides to work to combat extremism and terrorism which has become a threat to everyone.

He said he will work on coordinating the stances and constructive efforts to restore calm and security to Syria, adding that his visit to Damascus aims at helping in making the upcoming international conference on Syria, known as “Geneva 2”, come out with results that are in the Syrian people’s interest.

Zarif has been on a tour that included Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan during which he stressed the need for concerted efforts by countries and peoples to counter the phenomenon of extremism and terrorism which is threatening everyone in the region.

He also affirmed that the only solution to the crisis in Syria is a political one through dialogue among the Syrians as they alone have the right to determine their country’s future.

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SANA/Said/Sabbagh – 15/01/2014

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