Erdogan still under fire in Iran despite Syria agreement

Al-Monitor – Iran has offered what seems to be a cautious welcome to the memorandum of understanding signed between Moscow and Ankara over the conflict in Syria’s formerly Kurdish-controlled north. “The agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Turkey, aimed at ending the violence in northern Syria, is a positive step toward restoring stability and calm to the region,” said Abbas Mousavi, spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry.

Mousavi added that Iran has persistently favored dialogue as a solution and will not “spare any efforts” that could facilitate mutual understanding between Ankara and Damascus. He expressed hope “the agreement will allay Turkey’s security concerns while protecting Syria’s territorial integrity and national sovereignty.” The Iranian diplomat stressed in the meantime that “the presence of foreign forces” will not help with stability in Syria’s troubled north.

The 10-point document was signed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and his host, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in the resort city of Sochi Oct. 22. Under the terms agreed upon, Turkey will suspend its widely condemned offensive against Kurdish fighters known as the People’s Protection Units in northern Syria. In return, the guerillas will face a 150-hour deadline to reposition themselves 30 kilometers (18 miles) away from the Turkish border, practically ceding swaths of territory they had brought under control following years-long fierce battles in the Syrian conflict.

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