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Apr 17 2019

Iran minister to report to Turkey’s Erdoğan on meeting with Syria’s Assad

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Wednesday he would give Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a report on his meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad, Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

During a joint press conference in Ankara with his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Zarif said he had had a long meeting with Assad in Syria.

"I will submit a report about this talk to Mr. Erdoğan," Zarif said.

Before the civil war began in Syria in 2011, the Turkish and Syrian presidents appeared to be friends, even holidaying together, but Turkey backed the Syrian opposition against Assad. While Turkey now objects to a solution to the conflict that keeps Assad in place, it cooperates with the Syrian government’s allies, Iran and Russia, in peace talks dubbed the Astana process

Turkey is among eight countries to which the United States granted a six-month exemption for trading with Iran when a new round of sanctions on Iranian financial activities and oil and gas sales went into force in November.

Çavuşoğlu said Turkey would continue to tell the United States that embargoes on Iran were wrong. A number of senior Turkish officials visited Washington last week. 

“Our ministers talked about the issue of embargoes with their counterparts in an open and clear way. Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak had a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump. In those meetings our colleagues conveyed our concerns and opinions on those issues to their U.S. counterparts,” Çavuşoğlu said.