TEHRAN, May 25 (Mehr News Agency) - Iranian and Syrian defense ministers on Sunday stressed the need to fight against terrorism and ward off tension and security woes in the region.
"Damascus is a vital and strategic ally of Iran" in the campaign against terrorism, Iranian Defense Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said in a meeting with his Syrian counterpart Lt. Gen. Hassan Ali Turkmani who is visiting Tehran.
The two ministers also called for efforts to establish "peace and stability" in the region including Iraq, Lebanon, and Afghanistan.
"The only way to confront regional crises is (to form) a regional collective security," Najjar underlined.
"Tehran and Damascus' relations are strategic and in line with the interests of the two states and Islamic world," Najjar explained.
He noted that an interest by the two countries' leaders to expand relations has laid the groundwork for defense meetings at higher levels.
Turkmani, for his part, expressed satisfaction over mutual cooperation which "is based on common principles."
He also expressed gratitude to the founder of the Islamic Revolution, the late Imam Khomeini, who "established the friendly relations" between the two countries.
This is the second time in the past two years that Turkmani has been invited to Iran.
The meeting came a day after Syria rejected Israel's precondition to cut off relations with Tehran in return for a peace deal.
"Damascus rejects all preconditions concerning its relations with other countries and peoples," Syria said after an Israeli call for Damascus to distance itself from Tehran, AFP reported.
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