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Syria to play role to settle Iran nuclear issue
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Visiting Syrian President Basharal-Assad said in Tehran on Sunday that Damascus is committed to helping settle Iran's nuclear standoff with the West based on international agreements.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad walk during a welcoming ceremony in Tehran August 2, 2008. [Xinhua/Reuters Photo] 

Assad made the remarks in a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the end of his two-day official visit, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"We are here to hear Tehran's views on the issue and see if we can play any role in this regard," Assad said, adding that he would "transfer Iran's stance to the other side."

"I was briefed on the details of Iran's nuclear program during my meetings with senior Iranian officials," said Assad, who arrived in Tehran Saturday.

In addition, he said all members of the International Atomic Energy Agency, including Iran, have the right to possess peaceful nuclear energy.

During his stay in Iran, Assad held talks with Ahmadinejad and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki. He also met Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

Assad's visit to Tehran followed his trip to Paris where French President Nicolas Sarkozy asked Syria to "persuade Iran" to show proof that it is not seeking nuclear weapons.

The Syrian leader said in his recent talks with French officials he reiterated that Iran's nuclear standoff with the West should be solved through dialogue.

For his part, Ahmadinejad told the joint press conference that Tehran is always ready to hold negotiations about various issues, including its nuclear program.

"We are serious about holding talks. We seek negotiations based on legal principles leading to practical outcomes," Ahmadinejad said.

"We hope that others will be ready to discuss different regional and international issues and move towards peace and security," he added.

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