Envoy decries destabilizing regional diplomacy by some groups

Tehran, Oct 3, IRNA - The Turkish ambassador to Tehran said that it is very wrong for some groups to think that they can exploit the region by destabilizing it.

On the eve of the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan's trip to Iran, Riza Hakan Tekin told IRNA, in an exclusive interview, that to stop and reverse the existing divergence in the region, some steps need to be taken.

Hakan Tekin said that, firstly, regional countries should take control of their fate, instead of relying on trans-regional powers; secondly, confidence-building policies should be followed in the region, not just between but also inside countries; thirdly, regional countries should counter extremism that has spread around.

'Islam and not its sects should be our first priority,' he said, adding that sectarianism and extremism rips societies apart and people of the region will have to sustain the loss.

'Arms dealers will be the winners, and the people of the region will be losers, because they have to spend their limited resources on arms and military,' Hakan Tekin added.

Commenting on the Iraqi Kurdistan referendum on independence, he said that the unilateral decision to hold the referendum was made despite worldwide oppositions.

'Unfortunately, in the past, our western friends have pursued dishonest policies in the region;' and in this regard, time will show us how honest they were in their official stances and oppositions.

He also said that the measures taken by Iran, Iraq and Turkey don’t mean 'we are enemies of the Kurds in Iraq or anywhere else, adding that Turkey will always stay by its 'Kurd siblings' as Turkey opened its borders to Kurds when Saddam Hussein bombarded the Iraqi Kurdistan in 1991 and made a lot of humanitarian contributions to them.

Talking about the Iran-Turkey military cooperation that has recently commenced, he referred to 'the historic trip' made by Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri to Turkey followed by his Turkish counterpart General Hulusi Akar's to Iran, and said, 'We cannot provide a rational justification for why we have not already had serious cooperation in this regard.'

He said that the two countries can cooperate in training, defense industries, and countering terrorism, PKK and its Iranian branch PJAK.

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