Mattis to meet Turkish Defense Minister Canikli in Brussels to discuss Syria

France presses Russia over Syria as more die in besieged rebel area

Speaking in a Wednesday meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, Çavuşoğlu underlined Turkey's operation in Syria's Afrin is only aimed at defeating terrorist groups in the region.

Referring to the necessity of trying to reach the target of $30 billion in bilateral trade, Iranian president said that developing bilateral relations between the two countries, the decision to use national currencies in financial transactions, and efforts to accelerate the implementation of the bilateral agreements could further strengthen Tehran-Ankara economic relations and cooperation to achieve that target.

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis will meet Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli next week in Brussels and discuss the situation in Afrin and Manbij, Mattis told reporters Thursday.

The settlement of the Syrian crisis is also expected to be discussed during the Istanbul meeting.

"The Americans want to disintegrate the Syrian territories and have done the preliminary moves to create and recognize an independent country in Eastern Euphrates in the Kurdish-populated region but certainly this will not be materialized", he added.

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The sources confirmed that Ankara hopes to keep its coordination with Iran, which signed with Russian Federation and Turkey a memorandum on setting up de-escalation zones in Syria, entered into force on May 6, 2017.

The two leaders also hailed progress made at Sochi talks, which was started by Russian Federation and supported by Turkey and Iran.

"We maintain that regional states should stand up against plots hatched up with the aim of violating their territorial integrity", he was quoted as saying in a Farsi report by the Iranian president's official website.

Turkish foreign minister added that "one of the main goals of the United States in the region is to influence Iran's and Turkey's growing friendships", adding that the two countries must continue to work on resolving regional problems, especially in Syria together.

He made the remarks during a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Tehran on Wednesday.

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