Walid Al-muallem
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Syria Plays up Ties with Iran, Russia

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Wednesday that Iran and Russia would never give up their support for his regime in the face of a four-year-old armed revolt.

"I assure you that the relationship between Syria, the Russian Federation, and the Islamic Republic of Iran is much deeper than some people think," Muallem said at a press conference with his visiting Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian.

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Jumblat Dismisses Corruption, Rising Saudi Influence Linked to Hariri Murder

Progressive Socialist Party chief MP Walid Jumblat dismissed claims on Thursday that former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri's Feb. 14, 2005 assassination was linked to rampant corruption in Lebanon or a rising Saudi influence in the country.

“Hariri was killed for political reasons,” Jumblat told the Special Tribunal for Lebanon during the Defense Counsel's cross-examination.

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Syria, Iran Say Israel in 'Same Trench' with Jihadists

The Syrian and Iranian foreign ministers have condemned Israeli airstrikes on two areas near Damascus, calling it an act of aggression that proves Israel was "in the same trench" with extremist groups fighting the Syrian government.

Israeli warplanes bombed the two areas Sunday, striking near Damascus' international airport as well as outside a town close to the Lebanese border. The Syrian government said the attacks caused material damage. Israel has not commented on the strikes.

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Report: Muallem Meets with March 8 Officials at Syrian Embassy

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem has met with March 8 officials at the Syrian embassy in Yarze, al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The daily said the meeting was held over dinner on Tuesday night.

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Muallem: Fearing U.S. Raids, Syria Seeks Russian S-300s

Syria has asked Russia to speed up delivery of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, concerned about a possible U.S. attack, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said in an interview published Thursday.

Speaking to Lebanon's Al-Akhbar newspaper, Muallem said Washington had pledged that U.S.-led air strikes against the Islamic State group would not hit the Syrian army.

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Muallem Undergoes Successful Heart Surgery in Beirut

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, who led the regime's negotiating team at failed peace talks this year, underwent a successful heart operation in Lebanon on Friday, Syrian television reported.

Muallem, the chief diplomat of President Bashar Assad's regime throughout the three-year civil war, had undergone tests for a suspected blocked coronary artery, a medical source in the Lebanese capital told Agence France Presse.

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Muallem Says Syria Rejects U.S. Talks Bid without Kerry Apology

Syria's foreign minister said Sunday his delegation had rejected a U.S. request for direct talks unless Secretary of State John Kerry apologized for his remarks at the Geneva II talks.

"The Americans asked us to negotiate directly with them in Montreux," Walid Muallem told Syrian state media on the plane home from 10 days of peace talks in the Swiss cities of Montreux and Geneva.

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Mansour Makes Thinly Veiled Criticism of GCC 'Involvement' in Lebanon

Caretaker Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour criticized what he termed the involvement of certain states in Lebanon's internal affairs, saying Lebanon has been suffering from crises since its independence in 1943.

“Any meddling in the internal affairs of a state goes out of the proper context,” Mansour told An Nahar Kuwaiti daily in an interview published on Sunday.

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Muallem to Mansour: Syrians Morale Very High, Army Continues to Make Gains

Caretaker Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour on Wednesday held phone talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem on the latest developments of the Syrian crisis and the outcome of the top Syrian diplomat's talks in Moscow, Lebanon's National News Agency reported.

According to NNA, the phone conversation also tackled the Russian initiative on Damascus' chemical stockpiles, which Muallem hailed and said it "unveiled the real stances of world powers."

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Muallem Says Syria Ready to Join Chemical Arms Ban Treaty

Syria wants to join the chemical weapons ban treaty and is ready to give other countries and the United Nations access to its arsenal, Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said Tuesday.

"We are ready to state where the chemical weapons are, to halt production of chemical weapons and show these installations to representatives of Russia, other countries and the U.N.," Muallem said in a statement sent to Russia's Interfax news agency.

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