Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad made an unannounced trip to Tehran on Sunday where he met with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi, Iranian state media reported.
During the meeting with the Syrian president, Khamenei called for further improvement in ties between the two countries.
“Efforts should be made to improve relations between the two countries more than before,” Khamenei was quoted by his website, Leader.ir, as saying during the meeting.
Khamenei said Syria today has more “respect and prestige” on the world stage than it did before the war.
“Syria today is not the same as pre-war Syria; although there was no destruction before the war, the respect and prestige of Syria is much higher now than in the past, and everyone looks at this country as a power,” Khamenei said.
The “strategic relations” between Iran and Syria stopped Israel from “ruling the region,” al-Assad was quoted as saying in the meeting.
This was al-Assad’s second visit to Iran since the start of the Syria war in 2011. His first visit took place in 2019.
Iran has been al-Assad’s biggest ally since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, dispatching thousands of fighters and Revolutionary Guards commanders to the war-torn country to back al-Assad’s regime.
The Syrian president left Iran for Syria later that day, Iranian media said.
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