Erdogan to mull Syrian crisis with Iran General Staff's chief

16 August, 2017, 22:03 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Iran Top Officer Arrives in Ankara

Iranian Chief of Staff Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri has arrived in Ankara to hold talks with a number of high-ranking Turkish officials on cooperation in settling the crises in Syria and Iraq, local media reported Tuesday.

The Iranian commander will hold talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other senior Turkish officials during his visit.

"The referendum would contribute to instability in the region", Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Bekir Bozdag told a news conference after a cabinet meeting in Ankara, adding the decision to go ahead with the vote "violates the constitution of Iraq".

Syria has been suffering from the armed conflict since 2011.

An Iranian source said Baqeri was accompanied by the head of the ground forces of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, Iran's most powerful security entity.

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Turkey is concerned that the Syrian chaos has empowered Kurdish forces who it says are closely tied to the long-running insurgency in its southeastern regions, as well as IS militants who have waged attacks inside Turkey, and is working with Iran and Russian Federation to reduce the fighting in some areas.

"This trip was necessary for better consultation and cooperation on various military and regional issues", Bagheri said in a statement to state Iranian broadcaster IRIB, citing border security and the fight against terrorism.

Iranian General Mohammad Baqeri and Turkey's Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli discussed the war in Syria, conflict in Iraq and both countries' concerns with Kurdish militants in the Turkish-Iranian border region, where Turkey had started building a frontier wall. Despite some differences on regional issues, Iran and Turkey are two sides of a trilateral mechanism to maintain a ceasefire in certain parts of Syria.

The Iranian diplomat also expressed the hope that during an upcoming visit to Iran by Turkey's president, major steps would be taken to reach the goals previously set by the two countries.

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