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Iran urges Turkey to respect sovereignty of Syria


Tehran –  Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has urged Turkey to respect the sovereignty of Syria, a local media reported on Thursday.

“Respect for other countries’ independence and geographical borders will lead to promotion of security in the region.

“We should make efforts and take measures in a way that no country feels threatened by its neighbours,’’ Rouhani said in the meeting with visiting Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday.

He warned against what he called attempts to “alter geographical borders in the region” including that of Syria.

The Iranian president also touched on the recent Syria peace talks in the Russian city of Sochi, saying the congress was an important step towards settling regional problems.

For his part, Cavusoglu blamed the U.S. for hatching new plots in the region to undermine the growing ties between Ankara and Tehran, calling for close cooperation to thwart those schemes.

“We believe that we should stand up to plots that aim to undermine the territorial integrity of regional countries,’’ Cavusoglu was quoted as saying.

On the Turkish military operation in Syria’s Afrin, he said it was temporary and only against terrorists in that region.

Cavusoglu visited Iran’s capital Tehran on Wednesday for talks on bilateral and regional issues.

The visit by Cavusoglu came as Turkey launched a major military campaign in the northwestern Syrian city of Afrin against U.S.-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Ankara views the YPG as the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). (Xinhua/NAN)

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