Iran FM visits Turkey for regional talks

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian left Tehran for Ankara on Tuesday morning to discuss the latest developments in the West Asia region.

The visit, which comes as part of a trip to Lebanon and Syria, highlights Iran’s key role in recent developments in the West Asian region, particularly in the normalization process between Syria and other regional countries.

Iran’s official news agency IRNA said the trip was a continuation of Amir Abdullahiyan’s recent trips to Lebanon and Syria.

Iran’s foreign minister recently traveled to Beirut and Damascus where he met with high-ranking officials.

In Syria, Amir Abdullahiyan expressed happiness with the expansion trend of Syria’s foreign relations, which shows Syria’s importance and important position in the region, according to a statement by Iran’s Foreign Ministry.

He stressed that the Islamic Republic of Iran always prefers a political solution instead of war, and as a result, Tehran welcomes positive developments in Syria’s political relations with other countries.

This comes in the wake of regional efforts to build bridges between Syria and the Arab world on the one hand and between Syria and Turkey on the other. To this end, President Assad visited the United Arab Emirates in March last year. Also, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed visited Damascus in early January in a further sign of growing ties between Syria and the UAE.

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In parallel, Syria and Turkey are coming under fire after years of tensions. Recently, the defense ministers of Syria, Turkey and Russia held a joint meeting in Moscow, which was supposed to be a preparation for the meeting between the presidents of Turkey and Syria. As talks between Syria, the UAE, Turkey and Russia continue to thaw, Turkish officials are keen to open a new chapter with Syria.

Before leaving Tehran for Ankara, Amir Abdullahian confirmed that he will discuss the situation in the Levant during his visit to Turkey.

“Following talks with Syrian and Lebanese officials, developments in the Levant region and West Asia are on the agenda for talks during the visit to Turkey,” IRNA said.

He said, “Today, as per the plan, we have arranged for me to be in both Moscow and Ankara. The reason for that is some regional developments related to the visit to Moscow and Ankara. Finally, we decided to go to Moscow with some delay and today I will go to Ankara.

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He stated, “During the visit to Ankara, the latest situation of bilateral relations should be discussed first. Turkish President Mr. Erdogan has officially invited Ayatollah Raisi to visit Turkey and initial arrangements for the trip will be made at the highest level in Ankara.

Iran’s foreign minister attributed his recent visits to the rapid developments in the region. “At the same time, due to the rapid developments in the Levant and the West Asia region, two days ago we had a dialogue with Bashar al-Assad in Syria and in Lebanon with high-ranking Lebanese officials. on the negotiating agenda.”

He pointed out, “Also, consultations will take place regarding developments in the South Caucasus and important regional issues that are ultimately interrelated with the region’s security. In the framework of the Ayatollah Raisi government’s approach to neighborhood policy and looking towards Asia, more movements in the region are an important need today.

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In Ankara, Amir Abdollahian held two rounds of talks with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu. He also met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In remarks after his meeting with Amir Abdullahiyan, the Turkish foreign minister discussed bilateral issues with his Iranian counterpart as well as developments in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Ukraine, Al Jazeera said.

“We have discussed the Syrian issue and we call for the implementation of the Astana articles regarding the territorial integrity of Syria,” he said.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Cavusoglu, Amir Abdullahiyan said he held “important and various” talks with Turkish officials, including a 90-minute meeting with President Erdogan.

According to Amir Abdullahiyan, most of the discussions focused on bilateral issues, including ways to implement a joint comprehensive plan of cooperation between Tehran and Ankara.

He also touched on the growing trend of normalization between Syria and Turkey. “We are happy with the development of relations between Ankara and Damascus, and we believe it will be in the interests of the region,” a top Iranian diplomat said.


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