Issue of Idlib Must Be Resolved Diplomatically: Rouhani to Erdogan

Issue of Idlib Must be Resolved Diplomatically: Rouhani to Erdogan

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called for de-escalation of tensions in the Syrian province of Idlib, saying the clashes are in no one’s interest.

In a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart on Saturday, Rouhani said the issue of Idlib has to be resolved through diplomacy.

He said the current situation in Idlib is very complicated given the fact that civilians have to be protected there, while the foreign-backed terrorists must be eliminated from the area.

The Iranian president noted that Syria’s sovereignty has to be respected in accordance with the Astana peace process. He suggested that a trilateral meeting between Iran, Russia and Turkey could help de-escalate tensions.

For his part, Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated Iran’s significant role in resolving the Syrian crisis, saying political dialogue is the only way to resolve tensions.

Referring to the recent developments in Syria, the Turkish president said the situation in Idlib cannot be tolerated anymore and Ankara is worried about the results of the Astana process.

Tensions surged in Idlib, the last major terrorist stronghold in the war-torn country, on Thursday after dozens of Turkish soldiers were killed in an airstrike by Syrian forces.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that the targeted Turkish troops were among terrorists.

On Friday, Ankara, which backs anti-Damascus militants, claimed that it had hit 200 Syrian government targets.

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