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Syria PM in Tehran ahead of Geneva meeting

Report by Tehran Times; photos by Mostafa Ghotbi, Islamic Republic News Agency

Syria's Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi arrived in Tehran on Friday for talks with the Iranian leaders ahead of a peace conference aimed at ending the conflict in the Arab country.

During his three-day visit, Wael al-Halqi will meet President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and National Supreme Security Council secretary Ali Shamkhani.

Iran's First Vice-President Eshagh Jahangiri welcomed Syria's Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi

On arriving Halqi said he would discuss the Syrian crisis as well as bilateral issues, such as cooperation in the fields of energy, electricity, oil exports, infrastructure and health. However, his trip is apparently meant to discuss the upcoming conference in Switzerland, scheduled for January 22.

The visit comes a day after Syria announced its delegates would attend the so-called Geneva 2 conference.

Contrary to demands by rebels, Damascus insists that the departure of President Bashar al-Assad will not be up for discussion. It is not yet clear whether Tehran will participate in the conference.

Halqi last visited Tehran in August, shortly after Rouhani took office.

... Payvand News - 11/30/13 ... --

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