Iran welcomes Turkey-Russia deal on northern Syria

Tasnim – Iran’s Foreign Ministry hailed the achievement of a deal between Turkey and Russia on halting military operations in northern Syria as a positive step, saying Tehran would welcome any initiative that preserves Syria’s territorial integrity.

In a statement on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi hailed the recent agreement between the Russian and Turkish leaders on a proposed safe zone in northern Syria.

“Iran welcomes any measure that would preserve the territorial integrity (of Syria), strengthen the national sovereignty, and lead to restoration of stability and calm to the region,” the spokesman underlined.

He added that Iran regards the agreement between Russia and Turkey on ending the military clashes in northern Syria as a “positive step to restore stability and calm to the region.”

“We hope that reaching this agreement would address Turkey’s security concerns on the one hand, and maintain Syria’s territorial integrity and strengthen its national sovereignty on the other hand,” Mousavi said.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always favored dialogue and peaceful methods for settlement of disagreements, and accordingly, it has always encouraged warring parties to (establish) dialogue for reaching an agreement,” the spokesman added.

He also reiterated that Iran considers the Adana Agreement as an appropriate basis for relaying the concerns of Turkey and Syria, stressing that Tehran spares no effort to help establish dialogue and understanding between Ankara and Damascus.

The presence of foreign forces in northern Syria would not provide security in the region, the spokesman further said, adding that the withdrawal of American forces from the region would result in the return of security and calm.

The regional problems have intraregional solutions, Mousavi underlined.

“Fortunately, the effects of the Astana Process mechanism on ensuring peace and security in Syria with the formation of the constitutional committee will become more obvious in the near future, and we are confident that it will be a great stride in restoring permanent stability and calm to Syria,” the Iranian spokesman concluded.

His comments came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed on the parameters of a proposed Turkish “safe zone” in Syria, a development that could bring an end to Ankara’s military operation against Kurdish forces over the border.

On October 9, Turkish military forces and Ankara-backed militants launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion of northeast Syria in a declared attempt to push Kurdish militants from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) away from border areas.

Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.

Many countries, including Iran, and international organizations such as the UN and Arab League have criticized Turkey’s invasion of Syria, calling on Ankara to end the incursion into the Arab country.