Iranian, Turkish FMs discuss Syria

Tasnim – The foreign ministers of Iran and Turkey talked about the latest situation in northern Syria at a meeting in Baku.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu had a working breakfast in the Republic of Azerbaijan’s capital on Thursday morning.

In the gathering, the two top diplomats discussed the latest developments in Tehran-Ankara ties, the circumstances in northern Syria, the Astana Peace Process, the formation of Syria’s Constitutional Committee, and other issues of mutual interest.

Zarif and Cavusoglu have travelled to Baku for a ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

The meeting came a day after 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 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,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Wednesday.

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.

Russia and Turkey on Tuesday agreed to ensure Kurdish forces withdraw from areas close to Syria’s border with Turkey and to launch joint patrols, in a deal hailed as “historic” by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

After marathon talks in Russia’s southern city of Sochi, Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin announced the deal late Tuesday just hours ahead of a deadline for Turkey to restart its assault on Syrian Kurdish forces.

As the evening deadline passed, Turkey said there was “no need” to relaunch the offensive.