Despite their differences, the foreign ministers of Turkey and Iran are pledging greater cooperation on trying to resolve the Syrian crisis – after meeting in Ankara.
Tehran backs the government of President Bashar al-Assad, while Ankara advocates his departure.
“We have some subjects which we agreed on, especially on Syria’s territorial integrity and borders. We had disagreements over some issues,” Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, told reporters.
“We have to fight together against these terrorist organisations. For permanent peace and a solution in Syria, we’ll strengthen our cooperation.”
The foreign ministers meeting came a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia’s Vladimir Putin met face to face for the first time since Turkey downed one of Moscow’s military planes over Syria.
“We are very pleased to see that the relations between Turkey and Russia have improved. And now they are moving towards co-operation on the issues of a region, which is important to all these three countries (Iran, Turkey and Syria),” said Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister.
“Syria should develop its future. We’re thinking that, we must stand against ISIS and al-Nusra’s extremism together.”
Cavusoglu also revealed that 32 of 208 diplomats recalled by Turkey after a failed coup last month are still at large – and that they’re suspected of having fled to various countries.