UAE slams ‘colonial’ role of Iran, Turkey in Syria

by WorldTribune Staff, August 30, 2017

Iran and Turkey must halt their “colonial behavior” in Syria, the UAE’s foreign minister said on Aug. 29.

UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan

“If Iran and Turkey continue the same historical, colonial and competitive behavior and perspectives between them in Arab affairs, we will continue in this situation not just in Syria today but tomorrow in some other country,” UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said during a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Sheikh Abdullah called for “the exit of those parties trying to reduce the sovereignty of the Syrian state, and I speak here frankly and clearly about Iran and Turkey.”

UAE, an ally of Saudi Arabia, opposes Syrian President Bashar Assad and his ally Iran, and is wary of Turkey, a friend of Islamist forces the UAE opposes throughout the Arab world.

Turkey and Iran have discussed possible joint military action against Kurdish militant groups, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Aug. 28.

The six-year-old war in Syria has dragged in regional and international players who have sought to advance their interests there: Iran has sent troops and military support to shore up Assad’s rule as he has battled mostly Sunni Muslim rebels backed by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states.

Lavrov and Sheikh Abdullah said at the Aug. 29 press conference they agreed on a need for a negotiated end to the war.

Russia is helping shepherd talks in the Kazakh capital Astana which has already produced “de-escalation” zones to reduce combat in three parts of Syria, Reuters reported.

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