Turkey Urges Iran to ‘Use Its Influence’ on Hizbullah, Damascus

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu listens on as his Finnish counterpart Erkki Tuomioja speaks during a joint press conference at the Turkish Foreign Ministry building on November 18, 2014 in Ankara. AFP PHOTO/ADEM ALTAN

Turkey on Friday called on Iran to “use its influence” on Hizbullah and the Syrian regime to push them to respect the Syria ceasefire that started at midnight and has seen several violations.

“Iran must use its influence in a positive manner — especially on Hizbullah, the Shiite groups and the Syrian regime – as it promised in Moscow,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

Asked Thursday about Turkey’s call for the withdrawal of all foreign fighters from Syria, including Hizbullah’s forces, Hizbullah senior official Ibrahim Amin al-Sayyed said: “We are not present in Syria at the request of Turkey, Saudi Arabia or the United States, we are there as part of our cooperation with the Syrian state.”

“When we sense that it is beneficial to withdraw from Syria, we will do so,” he added.