Turkey, World, Middle East

Tehran 'cooperating closely' with Ankara on Syria

Turkish, Iranian, Russian FMs to meet in May to discuss latest developments pertaining to Syria crisis

Tehran 'cooperating closely' with Ankara on Syria


By Muhammet Kursun   


Iran and Turkey remain in close communication over the ongoing crisis in Syria, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). 

At a press conference, ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said the Turkish, Iranian and Russian foreign ministers planned to hold a meeting in Turkey in May to discuss recent developments on the Syrian stage, IRNA reported. 

According to Qasemi, the trio will evaluate the current situation in Syria within the context of earlier rounds of talks held in Kazakh capital Astana. 

The spokesman stressed that ongoing communication between Ankara, Moscow and Tehran had “contributed positively” to resolving issues of contention, establishing security in Syria and combating terrorism. 

“We disagree with Turkey’s point-of-view on certain issues, but we are in agreement on many others,” he said. 

Qasemi added: “The point is we’re cooperating closely with a view to resolving the problems in Syria.”  

As for the dire humanitarian situation in Eastern Ghouta, a regime-besieged suburb of Damascus, Qasemi said there were “several parties” active in Syria but that the conflict did “not serve the interests of anyone”. 

He went on to voice hope that a recent UN Security Council resolution calling for a temporary ceasefire in Syria would help end the bloody conflict, which is about to enter its eighth year. 

Home to some 400,000 civilian residents, Eastern Ghouta falls within a network of de-escalation zones -- endorsed by Turkey, Russia and Iran in Astana -- in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.  

Eastern Ghouta has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years, which has brought the district to the verge of humanitarian catastrophe. On Saturday, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a 30-day cease-fire in Eastern Ghouta to allow humanitarian aid to enter the besieged district.  

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.   

According to UN officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict to date.

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