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Iran, Turkey need to interact on Mideast stability: Rouhani

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (R) and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu meet in Tehran on November 26, 2016. (Photo by IRNA)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says consultations between Iran and Turkey will contribute to the promotion of peace and stability in the Middle East.

“Regional stability and security, particularly in Iraq and Syria, should form the basis for interaction and cooperation between Iran and Turkey,” Rouhani said in a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Tehran on Saturday.

He added that the expansion of cooperation and consultations between Tehran and Ankara could play an influential role in the settlement of regional issues under current sensitive condition.

He described as significant regular visits and consultations between the two sides on leading mutual, regional and international issues.

“If key regional powers stand by each other, the issues of Iraq and Syria will be solved without any need for [help from] foreign powers. However, what is important at the present time is that neighboring countries will be able to well play their constructive role in settling regional issues,” the Iranian president pointed out.

He said safeguarding territorial integrity and maintaining national unity in Iraq and Syria, forming the governments in these two countries based on the principles of democracy, preventing the killing of people and destroying infrastructure as well as helping refugees return to their homelands are among measures which need to be conducted to solve regional crises.

The United States and some of its allies have been carrying out airstrikes on Iraq since June 2014, allegedly targeting Daesh elements in the northern and western parts of the conflict-plagued Arab country.

The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) says a total of 1,792 Iraqis were killed and 1,358 others injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict only in October.

According to the UN mission, the number of civilian fatalities stood at 1,120. Violence also claimed the lives of 672 members of the Iraqi security forces. A great portion of the fatalities was recorded in the capital province of Baghdad, where 268 civilians were killed.

Gruesome violence has plagued the northern and western parts of Iraq ever since Daesh terrorists mounted an offensive there more than two years ago, and took control of parts of Iraqi territory.

Syria has also been hit by deadly militancy, which Damascus blames on some Western countries and their regional allies since March 2011.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura have put the death toll from the conflict at more than 300,000 and 400,000, respectively. This is while the UN has stopped its official casualty count in the Arab country, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.

Territorial integrity, national unity in Iraq, Syria beneficial to regional peace: Cavusoglu

The Turkish foreign minister, for his part, said Iran plays a constructive role in international developments and stressed the importance of establishing peace and fighting terrorism in the region.

Cavusoglu added that Western countries seek to only fulfill their own interests in regional issues.

He called for efforts to help establish a ceasefire in Syria and promote national unity in the country, solve regional issues through political approaches and boost collective cooperation in the fight against terrorist groups.

The Turkish foreign minister arrived in Tehran Saturday morning to hold talks with senior Iranian officials on the latest developments in mutual, regional and international issues.

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