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Iranian President arrives in Damascus

Damascus, July 19, IRNA - Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad accorded an official welcome to his Iranian counterpart President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Ash-Shaeb Palace in Damascus on Thursday.

The national anthems of the two countries were played and the two presidents reviewed a guard of honor while a 21 gun-salute was fired.

After the welcoming ceremony, the two presidents held private talks behind closed doors.

Following their second round of talks, the two presidents are expected to attend a joint press conference, said one of officials accompanying President Ahmadinejad.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Damascus on Thursday and was welcomed by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mouallem.

Ahmadinejad's one-day visit takes place at the invitation of the Syrian president.

President Ahmadinejad is accompanied by a high-ranking political and economic delegation, including ministers of foreign affairs Manouchehr Mottaki and of housing and urban development Mohammad Saeedi-kia.

The visit coincides with inauguration of the Syrian president's second term in office. Al-Assad took oath for the second term in office after his re-election to the post.

The two presidents will discuss issues of mutual interest, including ways to expand mutual cooperation as well as bilateral, regional and international issues.

The Iranian president will also pay pilgrimage to holy shrines of Hazrat Zeinab, the noble grand daughter of holy prophet of Islam, and of Hazrat Roqayyeh.

... Payvand News - 7/19/07 ... --

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