Turkey's Erdogan in Iran to mend ties after split over Syria




 
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Turkey's Erdogan in Iran to mend ties after split over Syria
 
January 29th, 2014  
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Topic: Turkey's Erdogan in Iran to mend ties after split over Syria


Turkey's Erdogan in Iran to mend ties after split over Syria
By Parisa Hafezi ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has arrived in Iran to bolster trade and energy relations, state TV said, in what also looked like a bid to defuse tensions over Syria by capitalizing on Tehran's diplomatic opening to regional rivals and the West. Iran has been a strong strategic ally of Syrian President Bashar al-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. But Iran's election last June of President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate who says he wants to thaw its ties with the West, and shared concern over the rise of al Qaeda in Syria, have spurred hopes of a Turkish-Iranian rapprochement. While deep divisions remain between Ankara and Tehran over the conflict in Syria, diplomats and government officials say both sides want to mend a relationship that could be pivotal to the fast-changing political map of the Middle East.




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