Iran exerts efforts for Syrian-Turkish normalization: MoD
Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani affirms Tehran has constantly worked hard to bring peace, stability, and security to the region.
Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani asserted that one of the main objectives of the quadripartite summit in Moscow has been the joint Russian-Iranian efforts for the establishment of Syrian-Turkish normalization of ties.
Ashtani added that Iran is exerting strained efforts to forge direct contact between Syria and Turkey -- two neighboring and influential countries in the region -- and encourages cooperation between the two nations.
He further stressed that Tehran has constantly worked hard to bring peace, stability, and security to the region, referring to Iran's participation in the quadripartite summit in Moscow.
"All countries in the region share the desire to counter terrorism in all of its manifestations, but this goal can only be reached through joint efforts, coordination, and cooperation," he concluded.
Earlier, the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Tuesday that the meeting of the defense ministers of Turkey, Russia, Syria, and Iran in Moscow was held in a constructive atmosphere.
On its account, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that the defense ministers of Russia, Turkey, Syria, and Iran met in Moscow to discuss ways to strengthen security in Syria and normalize Syria-Turkey relations.
"Following the meeting, which took place in a constructive atmosphere, the importance of continuing meetings in a quadrilateral format for establishing and maintaining stability in Syria and the region as a whole was stressed," the Ministry said in a tweet.
The ministers discussed concrete steps to normalize Ankara-Damascus relations.
The Ministry added that during the meeting, the ministers discussed strengthening the security situation in Syria, concrete steps that can be taken to normalize relations between Turkey and Syria, the fight against terrorist organizations and extremist groups in all their forms on the territory of Syria, and the intensification of efforts to return Syrian refugees to their homeland.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and the head of Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MIT), Hakan Fidan, arrived in Moscow on Tuesday to participate in a quadripartite security meeting on the Syrian issue with Turkish, Russian, Syrian, and Iranian counterparts, as per the Turkish Defense Ministry.
Akar and Fidan were met at Vnukovo International Airport by Turkish Ambassador to Moscow Mehmet Samsar and Russian officials, according to the Ministry.
The Turkish defense chief is also planning to hold a number of bilateral meetings during his visit to Moscow, the Turkish Defense Ministry said.
Akar told state media on Monday that the upcoming round of talks would be focused on the progress made at the three-way meeting hosted by Moscow on December 28, 2022. He said the quartet was intent on restoring peace and security in the region.
The war on Syria was waged in 2011 in which the Syrian forces were fighting terrorist groups backed by Western and regional powers. Since 2016, the Turkish armed forces have been also conducting air and ground operations in Syria against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Damascus has repeatedly called the presence of Turkish forces on the Syrian border illegal and urged Ankara to withdraw its troops.
Before the meeting, both Syrian and Turkish officials discussed key points to discuss regarding Syrian and Turkish-Syrian relations.
The Syrian delegation had three essential points on its agenda:
- Ending the illegal Turkish presence on Syrian territory
- Non-interference in the Syrian internal affairs
- Combating terrorism in all its forms
The Turkish delegation had four main points to discuss on its agenda:
- Holding talks between the Syrian government with what he described as the "Syrian opposition"
- Ensuring the return of asylum seekers from Turkey to Syria
- Facilitating humanitarian aid to all Syrian areas
- Fighting against terrorism in the region