Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Syria Bashar al-Assad makes rare TV appearance

Syrian TV has broadcast footage showing President Bashar al-Assad meeting Iran's security chief, the first time Mr Assad has been seen on state television for more than two weeks.

His appearance came a day after Prime Minister Riad Hijab defected to the opposition.

Arriving in Damascus, Iran's security chief Saeed Jalili said only a "Syrian solution" would end the crisis.

Iran is President Assad's staunchest regional ally.

President Assad's TV appearance was his first since 22 July - four days after a bomb killed four security chiefs in Damascus.

"Assad and Jalili discussed bilateral relations between Syria and the Islamic Republic of Iran as well as the situation in the region," the TV report said.

Tehran says it is planning an international meeting on Syria on Thursday.

It is also trying to secure the release of a group of Iranians abducted by rebels from a bus in Damascus on Saturday.

As well as Mr Jalili's visit to Damascus, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi is travelling to Turkey for talks in Ankara. Read More