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    Turkish Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar and his Iranian counterpart Major General Mohammad Baqeri review the guards of honour during a welcoming ceremony in Ankara, Turkey, August 15, 2017

    Syrian Bargain? What Might Be Behind Iran's Chief of Staff's Trip to Turkey

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    Commenting on the first trip of Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri to Turkey at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar, Turkish political analyst Atay Akdevelioglu told Sputnik that the two countries might, in fact, be striking a bargain over Syria.

    On Tuesday, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri began his three-day visit to Turkey. The Iranian commander will hold talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other senior Turkish officials during his visit.

    Ahead of the first visit by an Iranian chief of staff to Turkey, the Iranian defense headquarters said that the top military official will discuss the fight against terrorism, regional developments, bilateral relations in the defense field, and border cooperation.

    Atay Akdevelioglu, political analyst at the University of Ankara, spoke to Sputnik Turkiye about what might be really at stake during the trip.

    "There is the 'light at the end of the tunnel' on the settlement of the Syrian conflict and we can even start to guess what the final agreement of the parties to the conflict will be. However the major obstacle to the final agreement on the political settlement of the conflict is Iran's tough position that the war should be ended by the military victory of the government of President Assad," he said.

    He further suggested how Turkey will try to soften this stance of the Iranian authorities.

    "A new anti-Iranian campaign, which started with the election of Donald Trump, has sparked the need for cooperation between Iran and Turkey. I think that in the light of such developments Turkey will be bargaining with Iran's Chief of Staff on certain issues," Akdevelioglu said.

    He further suggested that Turkey might provide Iran with opportunities to manage and overcome the US’ anti-Iranian campaign. In return, Ankara will try to force Tehran to abandon its tough position on the final settlement of the Syrian crisis which it has been demonstrating until now.

    "I think that Iran is ready to make certain concessions on this issue," the political analyst said.

    Atay Akdevelioglu also proposed that the crisis in the Persian Gulf and the situation in Iraqi Mosul could also be on the agenda. However the upcoming referendum on Kurdish independence might not be discussed.

    He noted that neither the regional powers nor the US have voiced any active reaction to the referendum. There were some "sluggish comments" against it, but the referendum will take place as scheduled. However everyone knows that it won't have any practical and legal results.

    "There will be no declaration of Kurdistan independence based on the results of the referendum, therefore I don't think that the regional countries who are against it will resort to any warmongering rhetoric. Nor do I think that this issue tops the agenda of Iran's Chief of Staff's visit to Turkey," the political analyst concluded.

    Meanwhile on Wednesday Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced that Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov will visit Turkey to discuss the Syrian crisis.

    bargaining, conflict settlement, Syrian conflict, Atay Akdevelioglu, Mohammad Baqeri, Syria, Turkey, Iran
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