Iran, Turkey FMs Surprise Meeting over Syria, Middle East Issues

Iran, Turkey FMs Surprise Meeting over Syria, Middle East Issues
Fri Aug 19, 2016 19:33:22

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu have held key talks in Tehran on bilateral relations and the latest developments in the Middle East.

“The Turkish foreign minister made a short visit to Tehran yesterday to follow up on the agreements and consultations held between the two countries during Zarif’s visit to Ankara last week,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said on Friday.

He added that the Thursday negotiations between the Iranian and Turkish foreign ministers in Tehran lasted for five hours.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry official noted that during Zarif’s visit to Ankara and his talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other senior officials on August 12, the sides agreed to hold intensive negotiations at different levels.

Qasemi said the two countries' senior officials would hold several meetings at different levels in the near future.

Speaking in a joint presser with Cavusoglu in the Turkish capital, Zarif said Tehran and Ankara have a common goal to improve cooperation on the fight against terrorism and extremism despite their differences on some issues.

"“The two countries have a common opinion and goal to jointly fight terrorism, extremism and sectarianism, and despite the existence of different views on some issues, we share a common stance on [protecting] Syria’s territorial integrity” and fighting Daesh (ISIS / ISIL) and Jabhat Fath al-Sham terrorists, the Iranian foreign minister said."

He emphasized that Iran "has always had positive dialogues with Turkey on the Syria subject," adding that Tehran and Ankara share the view that the Arab country’s future must be decided by the Syrian people.

Syria has been gripped by a foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

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