Iran & Syria to Co-Operate on Naval Training

Reuters28.02.2011 Iran
Iran & Syria to Co-Operate on Naval Training

Iran & Syria to Co-Operate on Naval Training

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Iran and Syria agreed to co-operate on naval training, Iran's official news agency reported after 2 Iranian warships docked in a Syrian port.

The agreement further strengthens ties between Iran and Syria as Tehran seeks to bolster its position as a regional powerhouse amid political upheaval in many Middle Eastern states.

"The two parties will cooperate with each other in training issues and the exchange of personnel," IRNA quoted the agreement, signed by the Commanders of both Navies, as saying. Syrian officials do not comment on security matters.

The 2 Iranian ships arrived in Syria on Wednesday after passing through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean, the first Iranian navy vessels to do so since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Egypt's decision to allow the ships through its canal was made under an interim government after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak. Iran is hoping to restore ties, cut for decades, with Cairo, a US ally which has a peace treaty with Israel.

"The message of the ships is to announce the peace and friendship to Islamic countries and the region and attempt to strengthen relations between the countries," Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has said the move was a provocation but not a threat. "If they were bringing rockets or weapons or explosives to Hamas or Hezbollah, we would have probably acted against them," he told CNN on Thursday.


Source: Reuters




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