Advisor to Iran’s Leader Hails Turkey’s Withdrawal of Forces from Iraq

Head of the Strategic Research Center of Iran's Expediency Council Ali Akbar Velayati
Head of the Strategic Research Center of Iran's Expediency Council Ali Akbar Velayati

Ali Akbar Velayati, an international advisor to Iran’s Leader, hailed Turkey’s decision to pull its troops out of a town near Mosul in north of Iraq, expressing the hope for a thaw in relations between Turkey and Syria as well.

According to a report by IFP, Velayati said on Saturday that Iran welcomes friendly relationships between regional countries.

Hailing the de-escalation of tensions between Ankara and Baghdad, he said prosperity of the region requires regional cooperation and avoiding any tension among neighbours, Tasnim reported.

Velayati described the Turkish government’s decision to respect the principles of good neighbourliness and Iraq’s territorial integrity as a “positive step”, hoping for detente in Ankara-Damascus ties as well.

He then hoped that Turkey would once again adopt a policy of “zero problem” toward its neighbours, noting that stable relations between Turkey and Syria require regard for equal rights, mutual respect and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.

His comment came hours after Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said an agreement has been reached with Turkey over an Iraqi demand that Turkish forces withdraw from the town of Bashiqa in northern Iraq.

Iraq has been facing the growing threat of terrorism, mainly posed by the ISIS (also known as ISIL or Daesh) terrorist group. ISIS militants made advances in northern and western Iraq over the summer of 2014, after capturing swaths of northern Syria.

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