The defence ministers of Iran and Syria have signed an agreement on military co-operation and reconstruction, AFP reported Monday (August 27th).
"Syria is passing through the crisis stage and entering the reconstruction phase," said Iran's defence minister Amir Hatami, according to Iran’s Tasnim news agency.
Hatami is on the second day of a two-day visit to Damascus, during which he held "detailed negotiations" with his counterpart Ali Abdullah Ayoub and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to Tasnim.
The "defence and technical agreement" provides for the continued "presence and participation" of Iran in Syria, Hatami added.
Iran has provided steady political, financial and military backing to al-Assad.
According to state media, al-Assad told Hatami that Damascus and Tehran should set "long-term co-operation plans".
With both Iran's and Russia's post-war ambitions in Syria and their plan to consolidate their presence there, experts expect that to cause friction between the two countries as they both want the largest share of the post-war gains.
Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday that a "return to normal" in Syria that left al-Assad in power would be a "grotesque error".
Macron warned in Monday's speech that after more than seven years of war, al-Assad was on the verge of creating a fresh humanitarian crisis in Idlib province.