Last Updated: Wed Sep 19, 2012 13:15 pm (KSA) 10:15 am (GMT)

Assad holds talks with visiting Iranian FM in Damascus

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi called for a simultaneous halt to fighting in Syria. (Reuters)
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi called for a simultaneous halt to fighting in Syria. (Reuters)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met in Damascus on Wednesday with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, the official SANA news agency reported.

Salehi, who ahead of the visit called for a simultaneous halt to fighting in the war-torn country, first held talks with his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem, the agency added.

Salehi arrived in Damascus had proposed earlier this week sending regional observers to the war-torn country.

His visit comes on the heels of a meeting in Cairo on Monday of a regional “contact group” on Syria also attended by U.N.-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.

Salehi appealed on Tuesday for “a simultaneous halt in clashes and violence by the sides in Syria, insisted on a peaceful solution without foreign intervention and a halt to financial, military and training support for the Syrian opposition.”

Tehran is proposing that the contact group of four countries -- Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey -- dispatch observers to Syria in an effort to quell the violence.

Iran, which is closely allied to Damascus, has strenuously denied accusations it is providing military aid to Assad’s regime.

In turn, it has accused the West and several regional countries -- notably Saudi Arabia and Turkey -- of providing military and financial assistance to Syrian rebels.

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