Syria’s embattled President Bashar al-Assad said on Thursday his government is capable of finding a way out of the crisis gripping his country, as he met with a visiting Iranian government minister.
“Syria has been able to overcome the pressures and threats it has faced for years and is able to get out of this crisis thanks to the strength of its people and commitment to unity and independence,” Assad said, quoted by SANA state news agency.
Assad’s remarks came during a meeting with Iran’s communications and information technology minister, Reza Taqipour.
According to SANA, Taqipour delivered the Syrian president an invitation from his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to attend a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement to be held in Tehran in September.
Syria, Iran’s principal ally in the Middle East, has been roiled by a 14-month uprising that has seen more than 12,600 people killed, according to monitors.
Rebels accuse Iran of helping Syrian authorities in their deadly crackdown.
SANA said Thursday’s talks dealt with the situation in Syria, with Taqipour “stressing that what Syria is undergoing comes in the framework of a broader scheme aimed at the entire region.”
The Iranian minister also “asserted Iran’s firm stance in support of the Syrian people in the face of the extraordinary circumstances they are confronted with,” the agency added.