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Iran raps Turkey disregard for Syria territory

5 September 2016 13:57

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Iran says it understands Turkey’s concerns about the presence of terrorists in Syria but Ankara has to get prior permission from Damascus for any operation inside the Arab country. 

“Turkey’s action against the terrorists who are based in Syria is understandable,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi told reporters in Tehran on Monday.

“However, neither the Turkish government nor any other side can and should undermine and encroach on the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of another country without the permission and license of its central government.”

Qassemi also implicitly criticized Turkey’s support for certain militant groups which are fighting to topple the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“All of us and the regional countries are obliged to strive in the fight against terrorism without applying double standards and battle with this ominous phenomenon which has sponsors in the region and the world and has drawn the region to instability and insecurity.”

Turkey launched an incursion into Syria on August 24, saying it was meant to confront Daesh terrorists near its border as well as Kurdish fighters, who are backed by the US.

The Turkish military is supporting a ground offensive by hundreds of pro-Ankara militants in Syria who entered the Syrian border town of Jarablus recently after facing little resistance from Daesh terrorists there.

Qassemi said, “Unfortunately over the recent years, violent, child-killing and criminal terrorist groups have gathered in Syria, sparking an internal conflict which has destroyed the country’s infrastructure.”

Ties with UK

Qassemi said Iran is set to upgrade diplomatic relation with the UK to the ambassadorial level. “One of the issues on our agenda is to upgrade our ties which is wanted by both sides.”

“However, this does not mean all our problems and differences have been resolved and that our views are the same,” the spokesman added.

Britain closed its embassy after hundreds of Iranian students rallied outside its embassy in Tehran to protest new sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic by London, pulling down the UK flag and damaging the building.

In August 2015, former British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond paid a visit to Tehran, during which the embassy was re-opened.

Qassemi also said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will travel to Venezuela for the upcoming 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement that will be held in Caracas.

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