TEHRAN (Iran News) – Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei says any military action in northern Syria will definitely harm Turkey, Syria and the entire region and will instead benefit terrorists.
Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks in a Tuesday meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is in Tehran to take part in a tripartite summit aimed at helping restore peace and stability to war-torn Syria.
Ayatollah Khamenei described as “very important” the issue of Syria’s territorial integrity.
The Leader stated that fighting terrorism is a must “but a military incursion of Syria will benefit terrorists. Of course, terrorists are not limited to a specific group.”
Referring to the Turkish president’s call for Iran’s cooperation in fighting terrorist groups, the Leader said, “We will definitely cooperate with you in the battle against terror.”
Ayatollah Khamenei added that Iran regards security in Turkey and its border areas as its own and called on Turkey to pursue a similar approach vis-à-vis its neighbor Syria.
“The Syrian issues must be settled through negotiations, and Iran, Turkey, Syria and Russia must solve this issue through dialog,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The Leader stressed the importance of “useful and necessary” cooperation between Iran and Turkey on all regional issues, saying, “We have always defended your government in internal issues and against [instances of] interference and as you have said, we have been each other’s friends in difficult times and we pray for the Muslim nation of Turkey.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei also pointed to the issue of Palestine and stated that the Israeli regime is one of the main forces driving a wedge among Muslim countries.
The Leader added that the U.S. and Israeli regime cannot stop the Palestinians’ deep-rooted movement.
Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized that the U.S. and the Zionist regime should not be relied upon and said, “Today, neither the Zionist regime, nor the U.S. nor others will be able to stop the deep movement of the Palestinians, and the final result will be in the interest of the Palestinian people.”
Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized that maintenance of the Islamic Ummah’s dignity and honor hinges on overcoming differences and remaining vigilant against divisive policies and said the usurping Zionist regime, supported by the United States, is one of the factors that sow discord and hostility in the region.
The Leader once again reiterated that Palestine is the first and foremost issue of the Muslim world and emphasized that despite some regional governments’ “inclination” toward Israel, Muslims nations are “deeply against” the occupying regime.
Ayatollah Khamenei also said the volume and quality of economic exchanges and cooperation between Iran and Turkey are much less than the existing capacities, adding, “This issue must be settled in the talks between [the two countries’] presidents.”
The Leader also welcomed the return of Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan but emphasized that the Islamic Republic would oppose any policy on closing the border between Iran and Armenia “because this border is a connection route that has existed for thousands of years.”
During the meeting, which was also attended by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the Turkish President stressed the importance of reinforcing unity among Muslim nations and promoting solidarity between Tehran and Ankara.
Erdogan said his country has never remained silent in the face of injustice against Iran and stressed the importance of bolstering bilateral relations in all fields.
Turkey has always opposed unilateral sanctions against Iran and would continue to support Tehran’s legitimate rights as per the 2015 agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, he added.
The Turkish president noted that Iran and Turkey have been fighting terrorists for many years and said terrorist groups in Syria are supported by the Western countries, including Germany, Britain and particularly the U.S., who are providing them with weapons.
He said Turkey pursues a clear stance on Syria’s territorial integrity and expects the Arab country’s government to start political approaches.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, the official ceremony of signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Turkey and Iran has been held in the presence of both countries’ presidents and ministers.
The ceremony of inking the agreement of joint cooperation was held at Sa’daabad Historical Palace in capital Tehran on Tuesday before President Erdogan and his Iranian counterpart President Raisi as well as some ministers from both countries.
The MoU comprises of cooperation in different fields of expansion of transit, cultural, scientific, sports, energy and agriculture exchanges as well as trade and economic interactions.
The document was signed by high-ranking delegations from Turkey and Iran in order to pave the way for expansion of cooperation in various areas.
Speaking in the joint press conference with Erdogan, Raisi said, “Undoubtedly, Mr. Erdogan’s visit to Iran is a turning point for improving the level of relations between the two countries. During the talks, the serious will of the two countries to improve the level of economic and commercial relations and other fields was discussed.”
Stating that the trade relations between Iran and Turkey are not enough and the existing capacities of the two countries should be used, he added that trade relations between the two countries can be reached $30 billion.
The cooperation between the two countries is very important in the security area, he noted, adding that the security of the borders of the two countries is very important and the cooperation of the security agencies of the two countries can play an effective role in the security of the borders.
Stating that the fight against terrorism, drugs and organized crime was one of the most important issues discussed in the meeting, Raisi said that the two sides emphasized that any form of terrorism must be fought to maintain the security of the borders.
He went on to say that the cooperation of the two countries on regional issues was also discussed by the two countries, and both countries have a special emphasis on the security of Syria.
The good relations between Iran and Turkey can lead to regional and international relations between the two countries, and both countries can play a role in the security of the region, the Iranian President said.
The Turkish President, for his part, stated, “Our goal is to reach a trade volume of $30 billion. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the volume of trade decreased significantly, and it has now reached $7 billion, therefore, I believe that with the determination of the two countries, we will be able to reach the volume of trade of $30 billion. Also, by taking steps in the field of oil and natural gas, we can speed up this matter.”
“As you know, we have taken drastic measures in the field of defense industry in recent years and we attach great importance to our solidarity in this matter,” Erdogan added.
Stating that according to the emphasis of President Raisi, the fight against terrorist organizations is of special importance for both countries, Edogan cited.
“We included them, which are a scourge for both countries, in the list of terrorist organizations of NATO, because these organizations cause disruption of stability and peace in any country where they exist, so we must deal with these terrorist organizations in full solidarity.”