Iran’s Zarif, Syrian envoy to UN hold talks in Venezuela

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari held a meeting in Venezuela and exchanged views about Tehran-Damascus cooperation in various areas.

During the meeting held on the sidelines of the 17th NAM summit in Venezuela on Thursday, Zarif and Jaafari discussed a range of issues, including the latest developments in war-hit Syria and ways to end the more than five-year-old conflict in the Arab country.

The two sides also stressed the need for closer mutual cooperation between the Islamic Republic and Syria in diverse spheres.

The 17th NAM summit started in Margarita Island, Venezuela, on Thursday, September 15, and will wrap up on September 18, 2016.

Syria has been gripped by civil war since March 2011 with various terrorist groups, including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL), currently controlling parts of it.

According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.

In the meantime, Iran has remained a close ally of Syria and supports its legitimate government in the face of foreign-backed militancy.

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.

By Tasnim News Agency