Iran Deputy FM: Tehran, Ankara to Continue Talks about Syria

Iran Deputy FM: Tehran, Ankara to Continue Talks about Syria
Mon Aug 15, 2016 22:25:17

Iran and Turkey have agreed to exchange delegations and proceed with negotiations on ways to solve Syria's five-year crisis, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari says.

“The continuation of consultations between influential players in the Syrian crisis can prepare the necessary grounds for the settlement of the crisis,” Jaberi Ansari told reporters in Tehran on Monday.

He said Turkey is an important and influential country in the Middle East and added that he would pay a visit to Ankara to hold detailed talks with Turkish officials about key regional issues.

The Iranian diplomat noted that Tehran and Ankara have always held close consultation on the Syrian crisis since its outbreak some five years ago.

Jaberi Ansari said maintaining Syria’s territorial integrity and national sovereignty, forming a national and all-inclusive government and ensuring that the Arab country’s fate by is decided by its own people are the general principles sought by both Iran and Turkey.

While Iran supports the legitimate government of president Bashar al-Assad, Turkey has been backing militants fighting the government forces.

He expressed hope that intensive efforts by regional countries, including Iran, Turkey and Russia, would end the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria as soon as possible.

“The continuation of the [Syrian] crisis will not be in the favor of any country or nation in the region and even international players who think that the current situation is in their own favor…are mistaken,” the Iranian official said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) gives a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in the Turkish capital, Ankara, on August 12, 2016.

Jaberi Ansari’s remarks came after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif paid an official visit to Turkey on Friday and held talks with the country’s senior officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Speaking in a joint presser with the Turkish foreign minister, Zarif said Tehran and Ankara have a common goal to improve cooperation on the fight against terrorism and extremism despite their differences on some issues.

“The two countries have a common opinion and goal to jointly fight terrorism, extremism and sectarianism, and despite the existence of different views on some issues, we share a common stance on [protecting] Syria’s territorial integrity” and fighting Daesh and Jabhat Fath al-Sham terrorists, the Iranian foreign minister said.

He emphasized that Iran "has always had positive dialogues with Turkey on the Syria subject," adding that Tehran and Ankara share the view that the Arab country’s future must be decided by the Syrian people.

Syria has been gripped by a foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict, Press TV reported.

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