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Iran ready to support Lebanese state: official.

Summary: Iran is ready to offer the Lebanese government the support it needs in a number of different areas, from services to development, a visiting senior Iranian official said Tuesday, adding that Lebanon and Iran agreed on the need to combat terror.

BEIRUT: Iran is ready to offer the Lebanese government the support it needs in a number of different areas, from services to development, a visiting senior Iranian official said Tuesday, adding that Lebanon and Iran agreed on the need to combat terror. Following a meeting with Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the Grand Serail, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the Islamic Republic was willing to offer the necessary assistance for Lebanon to make progress on a range of issues.

"We expressed the Islamic Republic of Iran's readiness to use all available capabilities and energies to support the brotherly Lebanese government with everything it needs at this point," Abdollahian said.

He added that Iran is ready to offer the government developmental aid and assistance providing services, should it express its willingness to receive such support.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is fully ready to implement what has been agreed between the brotherly governments in previous [discussions], whether on electric power, construction, or other services," Abdollahian added.

The Iranian official also discussed political and security issues with Salam, praising the government's ability to combat terrorism.

"We are confident that through the wisdom and awareness of all effective and influential political movements on the Lebanese scene, [Lebanon] will eventually be able to overcome each of crises that the country is passing through," Abdollahian said.

"There's no doubt that Tehran and Beirut enjoy a common point of view in combating and rejecting extremism and terrorism."

Abdollahian arrived in Beirut Tuesday for talks aimed at ending the 4-year-old war in neighboring Syria.

He met with Staffan de Mistura, the U.N. envoy to Syria, at the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, and held talks with U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag.

Abdollahian was originally set to visit Beirut on Monday. The Iranian Embassy did not give a specific reason for the delay. He was set to head to Damascus later Tuesday for talks with Syrian officials.

Before leaving the country, he also met with Speaker Nabih Berri, praising him for the role he has played in Lebanese politics.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran both praises and places great importance on the national political role that Speaker Berri has [played] in to order to preserve calm, security, and stability in this brotherly country," Abdollahian said after their meeting.

He added that Iran would stand by Lebanon in its efforts to bring closure to the unresolved case of disappeared Amal Movement founder Shiite Imam Sayyed Musa Sadr.

Sadr and his two companions, Sheikh Mohammad Yaacoub and journalist Abbas Badreddine, went missing on Aug. 31, 1978, during an official visit to Libya at the invitation of its then-leader Moammar Gadhafi. Lebanon holds the Gadhafi regime responsible for Sadr's disappearance.

"We believe that the unstable situation and absence of security and stability in Libya have to a certain extent negatively affected the disclosure of the [relevant] files."

Regarding the ongoing turmoil in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, Abdollahian said that it would only end up serving the interests of Israel.

The Iranian official called on Islamic countries to stand together to halt Israel's attempts to "invest" in wars in the region.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran, as it has in the past, continues with all its strength to contribute to the unity, security, calm, stability, and well-being of Lebanon and the Lebanese."

Abdollahian also met with Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran supports with all its strength the continuation of the mechanism of political work in Lebanon in a direction that leads to the election of a new president," Abdollahian said after the meeting.

"We support a political approach aimed at solving the Syrian crisis. The Islamic Republic of Iran supports Syria's government and people with all its strength in [their] confronting and combating of terrorism. We think that force and violence cannot, in any way, lead to the resolution of intractable issues in the region."

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Sep 2, 2015
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