Israeli president meets Turkish president for talks on Mideast peace

Israeli President Shimon Peres met with his Turkish counterpart on Monday for talks on Middle East peace, and was also scheduled to meet with Palestinian president during his visit to Turkey. The talks come just weeks before Israelis and Palestinians are expected to sit down at a US-sponsored peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland, with the aim of relaunching Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. "Turkey can play a first-tier role in the peace process," Peres said last week in Jerusalem, adding that the country's moderate and democratic nature served as a counterweight to the extremist Islam embodied by Iran. On Tuesday, Peres will become the first Israeli president ever to speak before the legislature of a Muslim country.