Iran General NewsIran, Turkey discuss Syrian situation

Iran, Turkey discuss Syrian situation

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AFP: Syria’s problems can be solved within “the family”, Iran’s foreign minister said during talks late Sunday with his Turkish counterpart, Fars news agency reported.

by Farhad Pouladi

TEHRAN, July 10, 2011 (AFP) – Syria’s problems can be solved within “the family”, Iran’s foreign minister said during talks late Sunday with his Turkish counterpart, Fars news agency reported.

“Iran, Syria and Turkey are members of a family and if one faces a problem the family as whole should solve it,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said during a joint press conference with Turkey’s Ahmet Ahmet Davutoglu.

“The path of talks among the family members should lead to dealing with legitimate demands of the people…” and prevent “inappropriate interference” and abuse of the situation, he added.

The two ministers met hours after Syria opened a “national dialogue” it hailed as a step towards multi-party democracy after five decades of Baath party rule, although an opposition boycott undermined its credibility.

“Syria is a dear friend and brother of Turkey and has close relations with Iran…,” Davutoglu told reporters.

The two minister had also discussed other issues in the region, he added.

“Each country has its own domestics structures and issues, but the demands of people for reforms must be taken into consideration by their rulers,” he added.

Davutoglu arrived in Tehran from Saudi Arabia according to senior Turkish sources. He is also expected to visit Syria at an as-yet unspecified date.

Late in June, Davutoglu pressed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to announce reforms that would end the violence in Syria.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip has traditionally had good ties with Assad, but has called on him to halt the crackdown on the protests.

Iran has been cautious in its stance on the anti-regime protests in Syria, in contrast to its vocal support for uprisings that have swept the Arab world. Earlier this month, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad condemned Tehran’s arch-foe the United States for “meddling” in Syria.

Tehran has also accused the foreign media of exaggeration in their reports of events in Syria.

Washington, European Union and Syrian opposition groups have accused Tehran of helping the Syrian crackdown on the uprising, something Iran has repeatedly denied.

It has accused Israel and the United States of trying to undermine Syria.

More than 10,000 Syrians are currently camped as refugees on Turkish soil, prompting anxiety in Ankara about the prospect of a refugee crisis should the regime’s crackdown on demonstrators intensify.

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