[With thanks to IMRA.ORG.IL for referring these important clips to our attention – db]

Higher Education Ministry and Iranian Ministry for Science, Researches and Technology on Wednesday signed an agreement on cooperation in scientific research and cultural development.

The Agreement provides for doing joint scientific researches between the two countries on issues of mutual priorities for the two sides, establishing a joint fund for supporting the scientific researches, conveying technology and exchanging expertise between them.

It also stipulates for establishing a center for joint scientific researches in addition to set up a Syrian-Iranian joint work committee for the formation and following up the executive projects.

The Ministry also signed a number of memos of understanding on higher education due to the cultural, scientific and educational executive program and on reciprocal education for the Arabic and Persian languages in the Syrian universities and institutes.

The ministry signed with Regional Shiraz Library a memo on establishing direct contact in the field of electronic libraries between the information center in the Library and the information departments in the ministry.

Singing the agreement and the memos came in the framework of the Higher Education Minister Dr. Giyath Barakat’s visit to Iran.

Dr. Barakat and the accompanying delegation toured Asfahan city and got acquainted with its universities.


Iranian official describes Syrian-Iranian Ties as important


Tehran, (SANA – Syrian news agency)-Chairman of the Iranian Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Wednesday described as important the Syrian-Iranian relations, calling for enhancing them in all fields, particularly in the higher education field.

“Tehran is ready to transform its new scientific and technical expertise to the regional countries, particularly Syria,” Rafsanjani said during a meeting with Syrian Minister of Higher Education Ghiath Barakat.

“Scientific and cultural ties between Syria and Iran are not on a suitable level if compared to the distinguished relations in other domains. time is ripe now to boost the level of scientific and cultural ties between Tehran and Damascus,” he added.

Mr. Rafsanjani referred to the sensitive situations in Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon, saying “the current situation requires more joint cooperation to face the current challenges.”

For his part, Minister Barakat expressed satisfaction over the scientific development in Iran, particularly in the peaceful use of the nuclear energy, saying “we seek to promote cultural, scientific and research ties to the level of the political relations between the two countries.”

============ Attempts to isolate Syria have failed, Bilal says Wednesday, December 27, 2006 – 07:25 p.m. www.sana.org/eng/21/2006/12/27/94319.htm

DAMASCUS, (SANA – Syrian news agency) – Syria’s Information Minister Mohsen Bilal underlined Wednesday that Syria’s stances regarding the region’s issues are firm and will never be changed, adding “While those who called for wars, re-mapping the region and establishing the so-called New Middle east have changed”.

“All bids to isolate Syria have failed,” Bilal said in an interview with al-Jazeera satellite channel, pointing out to the European and US governmental and parliamentary officials who have been visiting Syria for consultations.

“Syria has always called for dialogue and peaceful solutions,” the Minister noted, adding that the problem with the USA is to find the just solutions for the region’s problems.

He stressed Syria’s firm stance which calls for realizing the just and comprehensive peace in the region in accordance with the international legitimacy and in a way that guarantees a full Israeli withdrawal from occupied Syrian Golan to 4th June 1967 Line and occupied Lebanese land as well as establishing a sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as a capital.

The minister touched upon Baker-Hamilton report which calls the US administration to start dialogue with Syria as a key country in the region, pointing out that the report confirms Syria’s right stance.

As for President Assad’s latest visit to Syria the Minister described the visit as very successful, referring to the historic friendship connecting Syria and Russia.

Source: www.sana.org/eng/22/2006/12/27/94266.htm