ANKARA 

Turkey spends great effort to reduce tension between the U.S. and Iran, Turkish president said on Sunday, amid dramatic escalation of tension in the region, following killing of a top Iranian commander in a U.S. drone airstrike on Friday in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

“Turkey always stands against foreign intervention and considers recent U.S. attack in Baghdad with this same understanding,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a televised interview.

Erdogan said Iran probably would not remain unresponsive over the killing of Qasem Soleimani, adding that the choice of the U.S. of killing a top Iranian commander would rise the tensions in the region.

The Turkish president said he will host his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Turkey on Jan. 8 and the leaders will discuss TurkStream, regional and other issues.

Erdogan also said he hoped that Turkey and Russia can help ceasefire in Idlib, so no more civilians are hurt by bombs.

He noted that with Turkey’s operations, 8,200 square kilometers (3,166 square miles) of land in Syria was cleared of terrorism.

Turkey had already started to send troops to Libya gradually, Erdogan added.

He said Saudi Arabia’s condemnations on the issue does not disturb Turkey, and that on the contrary, Turkey condemns them.

Erdogan also said the plans of Greeks, Greek Cypriots to imprison Turkey in Mediterranean have failed and that some still can not stand Turkey-Libya maritime deal.

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