Turkish, Iranian, Azerbaijani FMs meet in Istanbul
The Turkish, Iranian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers gathered in Istanbul on Tuesday for their sixth trilateral meeting.
Speaking at a joint press conference afterwards, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said there is no problem in implementation of the Sochi agreement for Idlib, Syria reached last month between Turkey and Russia.
"Right now, there is no problem regarding implementation of this memorandum," he said.
He said two roads in Syria -- one connecting Aleppo to Hama and another connecting Aleppo to Latakia -- will be opened by the end of the year.
"Everything is on track right now," Çavuşoğlu said.
He said if terror groups or radical groups in Syria try to step over the line, Turkey will be the first to intervene, before anyone else.
Çavuşoğlu added that besides Turkey and Russia, Iran is the country that has supported and contributed the most to the process leading to the Sochi agreement.
After a Sept. 17 meeting in Sochi between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the two sides agreed to set up a demilitarized zone -- in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited -- in Syria's Idlib province.
Under the terms of the deal, opposition groups in Idlib will remain in areas in which they are already present, while Russia and Turkey will carry out joint patrols in the area to prevent a resumption of fighting.
Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.
Speaking alongside his Turkish and Azerbaijani counterparts, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said they agreed to use national currencies in trade.
"With this agreement, we will have protected our economic relations against foreign interventions," Zarif added.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, for his part, said the three countries have a market of 170-180 million people.
"We think this will create very big opportunities. Therefore, the three countries have to develop their extensive cooperation," he added.