ANKARA - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visits Turkey on Monday to discuss expansion of trade and the civil war in Syria which has stained relations between the two neighbors.

The visit will be the first by an Iranian president to Turkey since 2008. Iran and Turkey are at odds over Syria, with Iran being a strong strategic ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad since the start of the uprising against him, while Turkey has been one of his fiercest critics, supporting his opponents and giving refuge to rebel fighters.

Last year the election of pragmatist Rouhani, whose foreign policy of "prudence and moderation" has eased Tehran's international isolation, and his concern over the rise of al-Qaida in Syria have spurred hopes of a political rapprochement between Ankara and Tehran.


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