Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has offered condolences to the prime minister of the Syrian Arab Republic on the passing away of Walid al-Muallem, the country’s minister of foreign affairs and expatriates.
“It was with greet regret and deep sorrow that I received the news of the demise of Walid al-Muallem, the deputy prime minister and the minister of foreign affairs and expatriates of Syria,” Zarif said in a message to Prime Minister Hussein Arnous.
“I would like to extend my condolences over this tragedy to you, to the respected family of the deceased, and to my colleagues at the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he added.
Foreign Minister Zarif further noted in his message, “In the course of his life, he played an important role in serving and protecting the national interests and security of his country.”
Zarif finally asked Almighty God to grant mercy to the late Syrian foreign minister, and success and prosperity to the Syrian people and government.
Muallem died at dawn on Monday at the age of 79. There were no details on the cause of his death, but Syria’s top diplomat had for years been suffering from a heart condition.
According to a source close to the Damascus government, it is widely expected his deputy, Faisal Mekdad, will succeed him as foreign minister.
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.