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Turkish-Iranian rivalry may derail Syrian peace efforts

Despite the Moscow Declaration, in which Russia, Turkey and Iran pledged joint efforts to end the war in Syria, the ongoing regional rivalry between Ankara and Tehran could lead to snags in the settlement process.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan attend a news conference in Ankara June 9, 2014. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS) - GM1EA6A03PW01

ANKARA, Turkey — In their eight-point Moscow Declaration of Dec. 20, Russia, Iran and Turkey asserted that their priority in Syria is a political solution and pledged joint efforts to that effect. For Turkey, the declaration amounted to relinquishing what it had advocated in Syria since 2011, including Ankara's refusal to recognize President Bashar al-Assad’s government and Turkish ambitions to topple it.

According to Erdogan Toprak, a senior lawmaker for Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Moscow Declaration “confirmed the bankruptcy” of the Syrian policy that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had pursued.

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