Having taken a rather cautions stance regarding Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria, Tehran and Moscow is now apparently feeling more worried about the implications of Ankara’s move. Latest phone conversation between Iranian and Russian presidents could be analyzed in this context.
کد خبر: ۷۷۱۹۵۹
تاریخ انتشار: ۱۷ بهمن ۱۳۹۶ - ۱۸:۲۰ 06 February 2018

Tabnak – Having taken a rather cautions stance regarding Turkey’s military operation in northern Syria, Tehran and Moscow is now apparently feeling more worried about the implications of Ankara’s move. Latest phone conversation between Iranian and Russian presidents could be analyzed in this context.

According to a Press TV report, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran and Russian President Vladimir Putin have expressed the opposition of their respective countries to the presence of foreign forces in Syria without the consent of the Syrian government and nation.

Presidents Rouhani and Putin held a telephone conversation on Tuesday, discussing a range of topics, mainly Syria. “The Islamic Republic of Iran is opposed to the presence of foreign forces on Syrian soil without the permission of the [Arab] country’s government and nation,” the Iranian president said.

Referring to renewed tensions in northern Syria, where Turkey has launched an unauthorized incursion, President Rouhani said, “The continuance of tensions is in no one’s interest, and we hope all regional countries would respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Syria,” without naming Turkey.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani underlined the importance of continued cooperation between Iran, Russia, and Turkey to fight terrorism and restore peace to Syria, saying that the joint efforts had to be reinforced until the final victory of the Syrian people.

The Russian president, for his part, stressed that Moscow, like Tehran, believed that only the Syrian people had to decide the future of their country. He raised the alarm about attempts by some extra-regional states to equip terrorists and disintegrate Syria and emphasized that any unauthorized foreign military presence in an independent country was direct interference in its affairs.

Rouhani and Putin further discussed the Syrian peace process in the Kazakh capital of Astana and a recent meeting on Syria in the Russian resort city of Sochi.

The Kremlin said in a statement that Presidents Rouhani and Putin “pointed to effective cooperation between Russia, Iran, and Turkey on the Astana platform. They expressed readiness to continue coordinating their steps to promote the platform and put new issues on the agenda.”

Just a day before, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman had in a press conference urged Ankara to halt its operation in Syria, saying the current situation would lead to the "return of instability and terrorists". 

"The Turkish government should reconsider. Whatever concerns Syria can be pursued through the Astana process," Bahram Ghassemi said.

Iran, Russia and Turkey have been moderating talks between the Syrian government and opposition in the Kazakh capital of Astana since early 2017 as part of their efforts to establish peace in the Arab country.

However, Turkey launched the so-called Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s northwestern city of Afrin on January 20 in a bid to eliminate the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara views as a terror organization and the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdish Workers Party (PKK). Turkey has warned that the Afrin offensive could expand to the nearby Syrian city of Manbij.

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