Khatami Says Three-Way Ties with Lebanon, Syria Key to Middle East Stability
Iranian President Mohammed Khatami said Sunday that three-way ties with Syria and Lebanon should be strengthened to help secure stability in the Middle East, reported the Iranian News Agency (IRNA).
"It is the precondition for stability as well as good regional understanding," Khatami said during a meeting with visiting Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
The president also had warm praise for Lebanon's "resistance" against Israel, and said Tehran was committed to helping the nation rebuild after its disastrous 1975-1990 civil war and the former Israeli occupation, said the agency.
"Iran is interested in the reconstruction of Lebanon and believes that its support for the Lebanese government and people is a religious, revolutionary and national must," Khatami said.
"Lebanon achieved an exemplary resistance against Zionist aggressions, and today it is a must for all Islamic and Arab countries to help," he said, adding that the Palestinian uprising against Israel was an "inalienable and elementary right" of the Palestinian people.
Hariri, who later Sunday concluded his first trip to Iran since returning to power last year, underlined that Middle East peace negotiations were "fragile" and "not fruitful because of the nature of Israel."
Earlier Sunday, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei assured Hariri of Iran's "strategic support" and said Tehran "will help it in all ways it can to rebuild."
Hariri has launched a massive campaign to rebuild Lebanon after the civil war and has been lobbying for foreign aid in the reconstruction of the former Israeli-occupied south, according to the agency -- Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)