The Syrian president Bashar al-Assad on Monday received Iranian Minister of Economy and Finance Ali Tayebnia and the accompanying delegation, SANA reported.
President al-Assad stressed during the meeting that the economic side is one of the manifestations of aggression waged against Syria represented through the blockade imposed on the Syrian people and destruction of the country’s infrastructure, pointing out that the support provided by the friendly countries, on top of which Iran, had great effect over boosting the steadfastness of the Syrian people.
President al-Assad referred to the importance of the continuous strategic relations on the economic level between Syria and Iran, which serve the interests of the peoples of the two countries, stressing the need for setting a clear structure and feasible mechanisms for the bilateral economic cooperation.
For his part, the Iranian Minister underlined that joint ties between Syria and Iran, in all spheres, are broad and deeply-rooted and cannot be separated, expressing his country’s full readiness to transfer its experience in the fields of development, technology and engineering to Syria.
Tayebnia pointed out that his country believes that standing by the side of Syria and its people is its duty, as Syria has always been major side in confronting Zionist schemes in the region, and its victory in the terrorist war waged on it is a main factor in regaining stability and security to the states of the region.
The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Ismael Ismael, Economy and Foreign Trade Minister Humam al-Jazaeri and ambassadors of the two countries.
At the conclusion of the meeting, President al-Assad gave a statement to the Iranian TV, and answered a question on the change of the stances of some major states known for their hostile attitude towards Syria, which had been saying that no solution can be achieved without the departure of President al-Assad, only to say now that there can be no solution without the presence of President al-Assad and holding dialogue with him.
Assad said that whether those states said he should stay in power or step down, only the Syrian people identify the destiny of their president, so all what has been said about this point in particular since the beginning of the crisis and after four years is of no interest whatsoever.
“In this regard, we have been listening to the Syrian people and observing their reactions and aspirations and everything that is related to the people. Whatever comes from outside was only words and bubbles that go away and disappear after a while, so it is not important whether they say he should go or stay or leave, whether they changed (their stance) or not; what is important is how the reality of the situation was going,” he said.
On US Secretary of State John Kerry’s call for dialogue with President al-Assad, he said “We still hear statements; we should wait for actions and decide accordingly.”
On a question about how President al-Assad sees the prospects of the upcoming stage regarding the situation in Syria and the regional and international equation at a time when many western countries have started during the past few months to communicate with the Syrian government, the President said “First of all, regarding the situation in Syria, we do not have any choice but to defend our homeland, as there have been no other choices since day one when it comes to this point.”
He added that any international changes that come within this framework are positive if they were sincere and had effects on ground, but they should start firstly with halting political support to terrorists, stopping their funding and arming, and pressuring the European states and the counties affiliated to them in the region which provide logistic, financial, and military support to the terrorists, adding “only then we can say that this change has become real.”