Turkey urges Iran for withdrawal of foreign militia from Syria

Turkey urges Iran for withdrawal of foreign militia from Syria

Turkey urges Iran for withdrawal of foreign militia from Syria

AA photo

Ankara has urged Tehran to effect the immediate withdrawal of Shiite militants from Syria amid the announcement of plans for a trilateral meet among Turkey, Russia and Iran in Astana in mid-February 2017.

There should be a nationwide cease-fire, while the flow of humanitarian assistance to people in besieged areas should begin, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told an OIC Extraordinary Executive Committee Meeting on Dec. 22. 

“The regime must return to the negotiating table for direct talks with the opposition for a genuine political transition. We should send out a strong message that the foreign militia should leave Syria right away,” Çavuşoğlu said. 

Citing a trilateral meeting on Dec. 20 in Moscow, the minister said there was an understanding on the cease-fire, safe and secure evacuations from Aleppo, the immediate provision of humanitarian access and the extension of these measures to other parts of the country.

“There is also an agreement in principle to facilitate direct talks between the opposition and the regime. The best solution is a political solution,” he stated.

Recalling that in the Moscow declaration, Turkey, Iran and Russia encouraged all the countries that have influence on the ground to involve themselves in the arrangement, Çavuşoğlu called on OIC countries to support the consensus, saying it would be a strong message to revitalize the political process to end the Syrian conflict.  

During a press conference after the trilateral meeting between Turkey, Iran and Russia in Moscow on Dec. 20, Çavuşoğlu described a major point of disagreement on talks for a cease-fire, particularly on the role of the Iran-backed Shiite Hezbollah that has been instrumental in the success of Syrian government forces.

The minister said they would continue to fight against terrorist organizations such as al-Nusra and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), but noted that there were other “foreign groups such as Hezbollah and other groups.” 

“Therefore, support for all these groups should be ended. It’s not appropriate to address a single side,” he said.