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Iran FM in Syria to discuss Ukraine war, ties with Arabs

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (AP) – The foreign ministers of Iran and Syria, two allies of Russia, will discuss the ongoing war in Ukraine and other developments during a meeting in Damascus, Syria’s Foreign Minister said.

Faisal Mekdad spoke to reporters at Damascus airport shortly after his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, arrived for talks with top Syrian officials.

Iran is a strong ally of President Bashar Assad and has sent thousands of Iran-backed fighters from around the region to bolster Syrian government forces against opponents in the 11-year Syrian conflict.

Russia has also supported Assad militarily, turning the tide of the war in his favour. The Syria war has killed nearly half a million people and displaced half the country’s pre-war population of 23 million.

“We will discuss the developments after Russia’s military operation in Ukraine,” Mekdad said.

“We will discuss what is behind that and we will discuss our mutual stances toward these developments.”

During his visit, Amir-Abdollahian is also likely to discuss the latest developments in Iran’s negotiations to restore Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers, Assad’s visit to the United Arab Emirates last week, which marked his first to an Arab country since the Syria war broke out, and meetings of the constitutional committee in Geneva between the Syrian government and opposition.