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Fuel swap deal precious opportunity to solve Iran's nuclear issue: Syrian president

05-24-2010 08:01 BJT

DAMASCUS, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Syria's President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday the agreement between Turkey, Brazil and Iran is a precious opportunity to reach a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue, the Syrian Arab News Agency SANA reported.

He made the remarks during a meeting with visiting French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in Damascus on Sunday.

"It is important that the countries concerned change their approach towards the Iranian peaceful program," report quoted al- Assad as saying.

"This agreement is a precious opportunity to reach a diplomatic solution and spare the region and the world catastrophic confrontations," he added.

The French official, on his part, reaffirmed France's commitment to the regional stability and its willingness to contribute to it. He emphasized the need for all Paris' partners to work responsibly and constructively towards strengthening it.

Iran, Turkey and Brazil signed on Monday an agreement under which the Iranian low enriched uranium would be shipped to Turkey in exchange for the 20 percent uranium fuel needed for Iran's Tehran reactor.

Kouchner's visit fell within the framework of the regular political dialogue which France has maintained with Syria, as much as on bilateral issues and regional affairs of common interest.

Lebanese sources, however, said last week that Damascus showed reservations over Kouchner's visit due to his stances regarding the Lebanese group Hezbollah arms and accusations that Syria is smuggling missiles to Lebanon.

The Syrian President received a written letter of thanks from his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy on Syria's role in the release of the French teacher Clotilde Reiss.

Iran, one week ago, released Reiss who was arrested last July in Tehran on spying charges. The 24-year-old French teacher was released after key efforts of Damascus to broker compromise between France and Iran.

Kouchner visited Syria last July and held talks with President al-Assad on Syrian-French relations and means to find a solution to the Middle East problems through dialogue.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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