Lebanese president visits Iran on defense co-op
www.chinaview.cn 2008-11-25 23:43:24   Print

    TEHRAN, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese President Michel Suleiman talked with top Iranian officials on defense cooperation, regional and international issues during his visit to Iran, Iranian Students news agency (ISNA) reported on Tuesday.

    Suleiman, who headed a high-ranking delegation at the invitation of Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, appreciated Iran's sustainable support for the Lebanese nation, the report said.

    During talks with Ahmadinejad, Suleiman said Tehran-Beirut relations were "satisfactory," and that he sought to reinforce bilateral relations, according to the report.

    Ahmadinejad said "Iran is proud of Lebanese dignity and will keep on help to the nation," adding that "Lebanon has finally found its way after a long term turbulence and now security is ruling the country."

    Lebanon now is "the symbol of valor and resistance," he said.

    During his meeting with Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, Suleiman said, "Iran and Lebanon have many commonalities and share the same stands in many regional and world issues," reported Iran's state TV IRIB website.

    The Lebanese president expressed his interest in promoting defense cooperation between the two countries, stressing the necessity for strengthening the defensive might of the Lebanese army in order to confront any foreign aggression and act of terrorism, the report added.

    Najjar, for his part, expressed Iran's readiness for promoting defense relations between the two countries in order to consolidate Lebanon's security and enhance the two countries' defense and national capabilities.

    On Monday, Iran's ambassador to Lebanon Mohammad Reza Sheibani said that the "Islamic Republic and Lebanon already have a five-year defense deal," according to Iran's Mehr news agency.

    Sheibani added that the promotion of bilateral defense cooperation would be discussed during Suleiman's two-day visit to Iran.

    Suleiman, who arrived in Tehran on Monday evening, also met Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili on issues of mutual interest.

    The Lebanese president highlighted Iran's "important and constructive" role in brokering the Doha agreement that helped defuse Lebanon's political crisis, which had pushed the country to the brink of civil war.

    Jalili labeled Lebanon as "an epitome of resistance and a land of peaceful coexistence among followers of various religions from different ethnic groups."

    Suleiman also paid tribute to Imam Khomeini's mausoleum, the late founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and visited Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country's supreme leader.

    "Iran will always stay by the side of Lebanon," Khamenei told Suleiman.

Editor: Sun
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