Syria seeks Iran’s help for economic revival

Tasnim – Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis applauded Iran for its unwavering support for the Arab country in the fight against terrorism, saying Syria also hopes to get assistance from Iran to nurse its ailing economy back to health.

Syria is increasingly restoring its political and military power, but the major challenge it now faces is economic issues, Khamis said in a meeting with Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani in Tehran on Sunday.

He added that Syria relies on Iran to go through the “economic revival and development” stage, saying such partnership could mark another start in Tehran-Damascus cooperation.

The Iranian speaker, for his part, reaffirmed Iran’s commitment to supporting the Syrian government and nation, expressing the hope that the Astana negotiations on Syria would result in immediate peace in the region.

Syria’s warring sides have so far attended five rounds of peace talks in the Kazakh city of Astana, brokered by Iran, Russia and Turkey, known as the guarantors of a ceasefire in the Arab country.

The fourth round of those talks in May produced a memorandum of understanding on de-escalation zones in Syria, sharply reducing fighting in the country.

Over the past six years, Syria has been fighting foreign-sponsored militancy. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimated in August 2016 that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the Syrian crisis until then. The UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.

Tehran insists that the Syrian nation is the only side that has the right to shape the future of its own country, rejecting foreign intervention with the use of force.