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‘Iran, Turkey can help end Syria crisis’

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Iran’s Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani says the Islamic Republic and Turkey can play an effective role in restoring calm to Syria, stressing the importance of consultation between Tehran and Ankara.

“Iran and Turkey can have a calming role in Syria; particularly in the existing atmosphere, the Zionist regime (Israel) is taking advantage of the developments in Syria,” Larijani said on Tuesday.

Larijani made the remarks in a meeting with Turkey’s Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek on the sidelines of the conference of the Parliamentary Assembly of Economic Cooperation Organization (PAECO) in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad.

The first PAECO conference, presided over by Speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly Fahmida Mirza, opened on Monday and will run until February 12.

“We agree with political reforms in Syria but democracy cannot be established with guns and bayonets,” Larijani added.

Cicek, for his part, said the relations between Iran and Turkey are deeply rooted in history, adding that these relations will also be to the benefit of regional countries.

Referring to the Muslim countries in the region, Cicek said that foreign countries take advantage of the developments in these states and disturb the region’s stability.

The Turkish official also said Ankara defends Syria’s territorial integrity, warning that if the conflict in the Arab country does not come to an end, separatist groups would exploit the situation and cause problems for other countries.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including large numbers of security personnel, have been killed in the violence.

The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and that a very large number of the militants fighting the Syrian government are foreign nationals.

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