Assad: Syria’s Relationship with Iran Non-Negotiable

Syria's Assad to meet Kim in North Korea: KCNA

The Times of Israel reports: Syrian President Bashar Assad on Wednesday said Iran’s presence in Syria and its relations with Damascus are not negotiable and repeated the claim that Iran has no fixed bases in Syria.

In an interview with Iran’s Al Alam TV broadcast Wednesday night, he said reaching a settlement in the southwestern region, where Iranian-backed forces are near the border with Israel, is still possible. Israel has repeatedly warned against any permanent Iranian military presence in Syria.

Assad said contacts are “ongoing” between the Russians, the US, and the Israelis, but said the relationship between Syria and Iran “will not be part of any settlement” and is “not in the international bazaar.” There has been speculation that Iran might pull its forces back from near the Israeli Golan Heights in some kind of settlement.

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