Renewal of Tehran-Ankara relations

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Since July 15 failed coup(?) in Turkey, Iranian FM Zarif embarked on a visit to Ankara to hold close consultation with Turkish officials on the Syrian crisis since its outbreak some five years ago.

The visit was made after Turkey reviewed its stance on the humanitarian crises in the region, Syria in particular which has been gripped by a foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.

Currently, some evidences showing that Turkey’s foreign policy on the humanitarian crisis in Syria have undergone major change.

Although observers believe that such changes are fragile, political and temporary, the move indicates that Ankara has made some changes in its relations with Tehran and Moscow.

Now it seems that Ankara has reached to the point that Syrian crisis should be settled through peaceful means and has no military solution.

Since the outset of the Syrian crisis, the Islamic Republic of Iran has emphasized on the political settlement of this crisis and has repeatedly declared that the Syrian problem has no military solution.

While in Turkey, Zarif, who was the first Iranian top-ranking official to visit Turkey after the failed coup, held separate meetings with his counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu and President Recep Teyyip Erdogan.

Iran that was the first country to condemn the coup in the very first hour, believes that coup has no place in our region and the vote and will of the people cannot be suppressed with the measures of a military group.

Such Tehran’s immediate and rational behavior convinced Turkey to change its manner towards the Iranian stance.

Despite Tehran’s disagreement with Ankara on the humanitarian crises in the region, Iran assured Turkey that it would support the Turkish legitimate government to administer the repercussions by the abortive military coup in that country.

Talking to reporters in Ankara, Zarif pointed to some differences between Iran and Turkey about some regional issues, noting that Iran, Turkey and Russia are three key regional countries that need to cooperate with each other.

Deep Mutual Understanding

Yıldırım believes that Tehran and Ankara have deep understanding of the regional developments and will recommend the best ways to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

Speaking in Turkish parliament, he said that Turkish government reached settlement with Russia and decided to adopt the same approach with regards to Iraq and Syria.

The Turkish government has sense of responsibility to help resolve the regional crises and spares no efforts to maintain the territorial integrity of Syria, he said, adding

Iran and Turkey have full knowledge about situation in the region; therefore there is no doubt that the two governments would put forward the best options to resolve regional issues.

Call for fostering ties

Meanwhile, Zarif and Erdogan in a three-hour-long meeting discussed regional issues, particularly the crisis in Syria, fostering Iran-Turkey cooperation and agreed to expand mutual ties energy, transport and environment sectors, and to raise the volume of bilateral trade to USD 30 billion.

Counter-Terrorism Efforts

During his joint presser with Cavusoglu, Zarif said Tehran and Ankara have a common goal to improve cooperation on counter-terrorism efforts and tackle extremism despite their differences on some issues.

Zarif believes that Iran and Turkey have a common opinion and goal to jointly fight terrorism, extremism and sectarianism, and despite the existence of different views on some issues and both share a common stance on [protecting] Syria’s territorial integrity, fighting Daesh and Jabhat Fath al-Sham terrorists.

Hailing the improvement of Russia-Turkey relations and their new efforts to stem the conflict in Syria, Zarif said: “We also have great ties with Russia on the [Syrian] issue and we believe that all parties must cooperate to provide security and peace and stop the conflicts in the region.

In the end, it is worth mentioning that as Turkey is the main road of terrorists to enter Syria, Ankara can handle traffic of terrorists and their equipment to this Arabic country.

Without doubt, establishment of new relations between Iran, Russian and Turkey can be promising in line with finding a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis and acceleration of the process of international peace talks on Syrian.

Zarif’s Ankara visit follows historical meeting of Turkish and Russian presidents in Saint Petersburg, which has had wide-scale reflection in the news and diplomatic circles in Ankara.

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