Turkish, Iranian, Russian presidents to meet in Istanbul

Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu speaks during a news conference in Istanbul

Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a news conference in Istanbul Turkey

"Respect for other countries' independence and geographical borders will lead to promotion of security in the region".

Presidents of Turkey, Iran and Russia, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Hassan Rouhani and Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting in Istanbul, Turkish media reported February 8.

Diplomatic sources in Ankara told Asharq Al-Awsat that Cavusoglu's visit aims to dissipate Tehran's angers after Turkish forces clashed with some forces present in the Syrian regime-controlled areas near Afrin and Idlib, pushing Iran to call on Turkey to stop its ongoing "Operation Olive Branch" in northern Syria.

Ankara and its allies have been carrying out a ground and air assault on Afrin for the past three weeks, aimed at driving out the US-backed People's Protection Units (YPG), which the Turkish government views as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Russian Federation has also voiced concern about the Turkish military operation in Afrin.

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In relevant remarks on Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned that Washington is seeking to disintegrate Syria, adding that Tehran will firmly stand against the plot.

"Turkey's fight against terrorism is fully in line with worldwide law".

"If the region is to have peace, terrorism in Syria should be eradicated".

For his part, the Turkish foreign minister said the USA was devising new plots in the region to undermine the growing ties between Ankara and Tehran, urging active cooperation in the face of such schemes.

Putin and Erdogan discussed what the Kremlin said was "the importance of continuing the joint work of Russia, Turkey, and Iran" on Syria.

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