January 5, 2012

Turkey and Iran navigate the Middle East tense issues

    Thursday, January 05, 2012   No comments

via RCReadersFeed

Ali Akbar Salihi and  Ahmet Davutoğlu 
Turkish Foreign Minister held a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salihi, in Tehran and reiterated his fear that the volatile Middle East might be headed for a new Cold War era unless a sectarian rift in Iraq is immediately mended. Ahmet Davutoğlu has urged Iranian officials to cooperate with Turkey in its efforts to stop the Sunni and Shiite sects from clashing in politically-fragile Iraq.
Before arriving in Tehran, Davutoğlu accused “certain actors” in the region of having sought to recreate the circumstances of the Cold War era, and reiterated Turkey's call for “overarching policies” for the region. To emphasized the similarity between the situations in Iraq and Syria, Davutoğlu stressed the “urgent need for solidarity." He argued:

"Turkey and Iran can contribute to a solution in Iraq and Syria. The regional awakening in the Middle East will make us and our relations stronger. We are now laying the foundations of an era that could last a century. States should not base their policies on sectarian and ethnic tensions.”

In a press conference on Thursday Davutoğlu affirmed the close partnership between Turkey and Iran, denying claims that the NATO defense shield Turkey permitted in eastern Anatolia was meant to target Iran, a country the US has made no secret that it labels as a threat. He contended that Turkish leaders trust Iranian leaders:  
“We do not regard any country a threat to us; we confide in Iran and Iran confides in us; the trust is mutual... This is for defensive purposes only. We guarantee that this is not a threat to Iran. We would never take any step that could negatively affect our relations with our neighbor."
The range of topics discussed during the two day visit highlights the complexity of issues facing the countries of the region, especially Turkey and Iran.

Read also:
Axis of... Power: emerging alliances in the Islamic world


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