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Syria-Turkey détente must lead to Damascus’s sovereignty over its territory: FM

Any political solution for issues related to Syria must take into consideration Syria’s full sovereignty over its territory, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on Wednesday, adding that Turkey can play a key role in this regard.

Amir-Abdollahian made the remarks at a quadrilateral meeting with his Syrian, Turkish and Russian counterparts in the Russian capital Moscow on Wednesday aimed at reconciliation between Damascus and Ankara.

He said Syria’s neighbors, especially Turkey, can cooperate with the Arab country so that it would be able to gain full control over its national sovereignty “because it will be in favor of Syria’s stability and security and is also in line with security and border stability of the neighboring countries.”

The top Iranian diplomat added that the deployment of the Syrian army on the borders and the establishment of security in cooperation with the neighbors can allay the security concerns of Ankara and other neighboring countries and prevent the activities of terrorists and separatists.

It could also restore the neighborly and strategic relations between the two sides and prepare the ground for the withdrawal of the Turkish military forces from joint border areas with Syria based on a mutually-agreed timetable, he noted.

“We believe that a strong and independent Syria will be able to overcome terrorism, separatism, and the US forces’ occupation and plunder of the country’s national resources,” Amir-Abdollahian added.

Turkey severed its relations with Syria in March 2012, a year after the Arab country found itself in the grip of deadly violence waged by foreign-backed militants.

Now, after 11 years, the two neighboring countries are taking steps toward reconciliation.

Iran ready to help promote Syria-Turkey reconciliation talks: FM Amir-Abdollahian

Turkey has deployed forces in Syria in violation of the Arab country’s territorial integrity.

Ankara-backed militants were deployed to northeastern Syria in October 2019 after Turkish military forces launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion in a declared attempt to push militants of the Kurdish 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.

Elsewhere in his speech, Amir-Abdollahian pointed to the current “special and unique” situation in international relations and said, “All the signs and variables testify to the transition process in the world order, the decline of the US power, and the strengthening of regionalism.”

The Iranian foreign minister added that the world’s traditional powers are no longer able to impose their views and act unilaterally as in the past, emphasizing that grounds have been prepared to solve Syria’s problems with maturity and political initiatives and to ensure security, stability and development in this country and across the region.

He also called for joint cooperation among countries and international bodies to help return the Syrian refugees to their homeland, reconstruct the war-ravaged country and promote people’s welfare.

The top Iranian diplomat, however, warned that any political precondition and dual approaches would not only fail to solve such a humane issue but would add to its complications.

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