After meeting with Nasrallah, Zarif urges combating Takfiris

After meeting with Nasrallah, Zarif urges combating Takfiris
Tue Jan 14, 2014 09:17:46

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has held talks with Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah.

A statement from the Lebanese party said on Monday that the meeting took place in the presence of Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi and involved comprehensive discussions on the situation in Lebanon and the region at different levels.

After the meeting, Zarif called on countries in the Middle East to work together to combat the rising phenomenon of terrorism and stressed the need for ties between Tehran and Riyadh to ensure stability in the region.

Zarif also rejected outright any preconditions on Tehran taking part in talks later this month aimed at ending the crisis in neighboring Syria.

“There are joint challenges between Iran and Lebanon and the entire region that require from all of us to unify our efforts to combat terrorism, which is the most dangerous phenomenon threatening regional stability,” Zarif told reporters during a joint news conference with Lebanon’s caretaker foreign minister.

“And I call for more regional and international cooperation to face this terrorism,” he added.

“The phenomena of terrorism, extremist and Takfiris affect the entire region and this joint challenge can only be confronted via joint efforts,” Zarif said.

The Iranian official also praised the Lebanese government’s “tremendous efforts” in tackling the suicide bombings that targeted the Iranian Embassy in Beirut last year.

The Nov. 19 attack, which claimed the lives of 25 including an Iranian diplomat, was claimed by the Abdallah Azzam Brigades, an Al-Qaeda offshoot. Last month, the Lebanese Army apprehended Majed al-Majed, the head of the group who later died of natural causes at a military hospital in Beirut.

On Sunday, Zarif said an Iranian delegation would be dispatched to Lebanon to investigate Majed’s case.

During the conference at Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry, Zarif also turned to relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia and stressed that good ties between the regional heavyweights were needed to preserve stability in the region.

“ Iran has a principle foreign policy: seeking to build the best ties of cooperation with neighboring countries, particularly the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia given its importance in the region,” he said.

“Bilateral relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia could play a primary role in strengthening stability in the region,” Zarif added.

The Iranian official met earlier in the day with President Michel Sleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam.


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