Iran welcomes Turkey-Iraq rapprochement

Iran welcomes Turkey-Iraq rapprochement

Iran welcomes Turkey-Iraq rapprochement Iran has welcomed a recent rapprochement between Turkey and Iraq, which reached a new level after Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım visited the Iraqi capital on Jan. 6. 

“We welcome the easing of tension and the restoration of friendship relations between Turkey and Iraq,” said Doğan News Agency quoted Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as saying on Jan. 8. 

“The happiness of regional nations lies in regional cooperation by avoiding tension,” he said. 

Velayeti’s remarks come as Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım paid a visit to Iraq after months of rows over a camp in Iraq, where Turkish troops train Iraqi Sunni local forces to combat jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).  

Describing Turkey’s stance “regarding respecting its neighbor’s territorial integrity” as a “positive step,” Velayeti said they wished for friendly to be established between Turkey and Syria. 

“The tension between Turkey and Syria is neither for the benefit of Turkey nor for Syria,” he added. 

Turkey and Iran have for years been on opposite sides of the Syrian conflict, with Turkey supporting Syrian opposition fighters against the regime, and Iran supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad alongside Russia. 

Turkey and Russia recently reached a country-wide cease-fire in Syria and hope to bring the parties around a table in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana for peace talks later this month.