DAMASCUS - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday met Iran's Supreme National Security Council chief Saeed Jalili to discuss the situation in the Gaza Strip, the official SANA news agency reported.
It said Jalili, who arrived in Damascus on Friday night, and Assad held talks on 'the dangerous situation the Palestinian people of Gaza are going through because of the Israeli aggression.'
They discussed the 'consequences on security and stability in the region of the Israel's aggression continuing' and 'ways Islamic countries can force Israel to immediately stop the massacres against the Palestinian people, end the Gaza blockade and open the crossing points,' SANA reported.
Jalili told Assad of 'Iran's commitment to cooperation and coordination with Syria on Gaza,' it added.
The Iranian security supremo also met the Islamist Hamas movement's exiled political chief Khaled Meshaal and Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Abdullah Shallah after he arrived on Friday, a Palestinian source said. Both men are based in Damascus.
Iran is a staunch supporter of the Islamist Hamas movement, which controls Gaza, and does not recognise its archfoe Israel which has bombarded the Hamas stronghold in Gaza for the past seven days.
Emergency services inside Gaza say at least 442 Palestinians have been killed and 2,290 others wounded since the Israeli air offensive began a week ago. At least 75 of those killed were children, they said.
In US President George W. Bush's weekly Saturday radio address, the text of which was released by the White House late on Friday, he blamed Hamas for the violence.
'This recent outburst of violence was instigated by Hamas -- a Palestinian terrorist group supported by Iran and Syria that calls for Israel's destruction,' Bush said.
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