Turkey, Iran FMs debate desecration of holy places in Syria

The foreign ministers also called on foreign elements to withdraw their fighters from the Syrian conflict.

Turkey, Iran FMs debate desecration of holy places in Syria

World Bulletin / News Desk

All foreign elements - including Hezbollah - must leave Syria immediately, Turkey's foreign minister said during the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland on Friday.

Speaking at a session titled 'The End Game for the Middle East', Ahmet Davutoglu said radical groups and foreign militants must withdraw from Syria in order to ensure an end to the civil war.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called on all foreign elements to stop funneling funds, money, and arms into Syria.

He also rejected claims that Iran was taking sides in the conflict and stressed that Tehran was urging all foreign forces to withdraw, to allow the Syrian people to decide their own future.

Iran has been accused of directing Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon who are fighting on the side of Bashar al-Assad's regime in the conflict.

"Extremists come from various places to fight in Syria...this threatens the whole region," Zarif said.

However, for a brief moment tensions flared between the two ministers when Zarif told Davutoglu, "You cannot desecrate Shiite shrines and expects Shiites to be quiet."

Davutoglu briskly replied saying that Shiite shrines in Syria like that of Sayyida Zaynab are important not just for Shiites but for all Muslims, and that it is their shared responsibility to protect all holy places, reminding Zarif that the Assad regime had destroyed 1,500 mosques and had even bombed the shrine of the Prophet Muhammad's companion Khalid bin Walid.

Last Mod: 25 Ocak 2014, 10:18
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