Iranian foreign minister to visit Turkey for Syria talks

August 7, 2012 10:53

ANKARA - Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi is to visit Turkey on Tuesday for previously unscheduled talks expected to focus on Syria and a group of Iranians seized by rebels there, an Iranian diplomat in Ankara said.

Iran has stood by its ally Syria despite the growing international pressure on President Bashar Assad, while Turkey has been among his fiercest critics demanding he stand down to defuse a 17-month uprising against his rule.

A Turkish foreign ministry official confirmed the visit, during which he said regional issues will be discussed in talks with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

"It is expected that the talks will take up the Syrian issue and the situation of the pilgrims kidnapped in Damascus, as well as bilateral issues," the Iranian diplomat told Reuters.

He said Salehi was expected to arrive in the afternoon and leave again on Tuesday.

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