Breaking: Zarif: Muallem defended national interests, security of Syria
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says late Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem spent his entire career in the service of his country’s national interests and security.
“During his lifetime, he played an important part in serving and defending the national interests and security of his country,” Zarif wrote in a message of condolence to the head of Syria’s council of ministers on Monday.
The top Iranian diplomat told Hussein Arnous, “I would like to express my condolences to your Excellency, the family of the deceased and my colleagues in the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for this loss.”
Syria’s official news agency SANA announced on Monday that Muallem had died in the early hours of the day, and would be laid to rest later in Damascus.
There were no details on the cause of his death, but Syria’s top diplomat had for years been suffering from a heart condition.
Muallem first took on the portfolio of the foreign minister in 2006. He was also designated deputy prime minister in 2012.
The veteran diplomat held a succession of top diplomatic posts, including ambassador to the United States, and repeatedly slammed anti-Damascus policies adopted by Washington.
Muallem was a close ally of President Bashar al-Assad during the country’s foreign-backed conflict, which erupted in 2011.