Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that his country is ready to mediate talks between Damascus and Ankara to help them restore their relations.
“We believe that the relations between Ankara and Damascus are in the interest of the region. If both sides ask us to help, we will play the role of the mediator,” Zarif said during an interview with RT on February 6.
Zarif also stressed that only the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is capable of securing the Syrian-Turkish border. The minister went on to say that “an occupation can’t be replaced with another occupation,” in a direct hint to Turkey’s plans to invade northeastern Syria following the upcoming withdrawal of U.S. forces.
“Only Syrian can provide security in those areas, Iran and Russia are ready to help Syria and Turkey reach a solution,” Zarif added.
The idea of Syria and Turkey cooperating to secure their joint border was first revived by Russia’ President Vladimir Putin, who called on the restoration of the 1998 Adana agreement between the two countries last month.
Turkey’s President Recap Tayyip Erdogan welcomed Putin’s idea. However, he openly said that the agreement could justify a Turkish invasion of northeastern Syria. Later, the Turkish leader backed down and began to hint at possible security coordination with the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
“We are conducting a low-level foreign relation with Syria. Intelligence agencies cannot behave like leaders. Leaders can decide to exclude themselves but can also use intelligence agencies to maintain relations for their own interests … We cannot cut the tie even if it is the enemy. We may need that tie later on,” Erdogan said on February 4, according to Middle East Eye.
The Presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran will hold a new meeting on Syria on February 14. The Adana agreement and the proposition to restore Syrian-Turkish relations may be discussed during the summit.
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