Erdogan met Iranian President Rouhani!
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in Iran to bolster trade and energy ties, in an apparenrt bid to defuse tensions between the countries over Syria and capitalise 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.
“Our relations with Turkey have entered a new phase and we hope this trend continues,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham told reporters in Tehran.
Iran’s election last June of President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate who says he wants to thaw the Islamic Republic’s ties with the West, and shared concern over the rise of al-Qaeda in Syria, have spurred hopes of a Turkish-Iranian rapprochement.
Erdogan met Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday, as well as Rouhani, whose foreign policy of “prudence and moderation” has eased Tehran’s international isolation and revived contact with longtime arch-enemy Washington.