Iran, Turkey Agree to Closer Cooperation on Syria

FMs Agree They Both Support 'Territorial Integrity'

by Jason Ditz, August 12, 2016

Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif have met today in Ankara, and agreed that the two nations will engage in “greater cooperation” on the Syrian Civil War, despite being on opposite sides of the conflict.

Iran is among Syria’s closest allies, while Turkey has been backing the rebellion from the beginning. The two foreign ministers, however, agreed to keep “closer contact” over the conflict and appeared to have common ground in both backing the “territorial integrity of Syria.”

This is a significant shift, however, and comes immediately after a comparable agreement between the Turkish government and Russia over Syria, suggesting the Erdogan government is dramatically rethinking its position on the civil war.

Turkey may well be lamenting their previous gamble that the Arab nationalist rebels would quickly conquer Syria and would crack down on Kurdish pushes for autonomy, which has instead left them with Islamist rebels controlling half the Turkey-Syria border, and an independent Kurdish faction on most of the rest of it.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz