x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Rebel victory in Syria 'a threat to region', Ahmadinejad says

Iranian president says Tehran and Cairo should accelerate efforts to resolve Syrian crisis using understanding and dialogue.

TEHRAN // Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday reiterated Iran's staunch support for Damascus, insisting that a rebel victory in Syria would threaten the entire region.

"A group coming into power through war and conflict will lead to continued war and security problems for a long time," the Iranian president told a delegation led by Essam El Haddad, adviser to Egypt's president, Mohammed Morsi.

"The lack of security in Syria will endanger the security of other regional countries and will threaten the entire region," Mr Ahmadinejad said, adding that Tehran and Cairo should "accelerate their efforts to resolve Syrian issues based on understanding and dialogue".

Mr El Haddad arrived in Tehran on Saturday to further a proposal by Cairo for an Islamic quartet that would help to resolve the Syrian conflict.

Egypt has proposed that Turkey, Egypt and bitter regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran form the quartet.

Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia support the mostly Sunni rebels in Syria fighting the forces of President Bashar Al Assad, while Iran has remained a steadfast ally of Damascus regime.