UPDATE WITH MORE REMARKS
By Erdogan Cagatay Zontur
ANKARA (AA) - The killing of top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad poses “a serious risk to peace in the region”, the Turkish foreign minister said Monday.
“The killing of Soleimani is a serious risk for peace in the region,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told media representatives at the Directorate for EU Affairs in the capital Ankara.
“We will work with other countries to reduce tensions between the U.S. and Iran,” Cavusoglu added.
With this intent, Cavusoglu said, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made phone calls to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, Iraqi counterpart Barham Salih and Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. He will also speak with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Noting that Russian President Vladimir Putin will pay an official visit to Turkey on Wednesday, Cavusoglu said: "Mr. president and Putin will address these issues personally. We all have a common concern that Iraq should not turn into a conflict zone for other countries."
Soleimani, the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards' elite Quds force, was killed along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the senior commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Shaabi force, and eight others on Jan. 3.
Also speaking about the conflict in Libya, Cavusoglu said: "There will be no end to war in Libya if we do not stop it."
Since the ouster of late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: Haftar in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and the GNA in the capital Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.
Turkey's parliament last week passed a motion allowing the deployment of troops in Libya for one year in order to respond to threats from illegitimate armed groups and other terror groups targeting both countries' national interests.
The resolution also aims to provide security in Libya in the face of any possible mass migration and to provide Libyans with humanitarian aid. Turkish forces will be able to launch an "operation and [military] intervention" to protect Turkey's interests and prevent future irreparable situations.