Iran Turkey to Restore Ties at Ambassador Level

TEHRAN (Reuter)–Iran and Turkey have agreed to restore top level diplomatic relations after they recalled their ambassadors in a row earlier this year–the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported on Tuesday.

It said the agreement was reached at talks between Iran’s Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi and his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

"The foreign ministers of Iran and Turkey on Monday agreed to further broaden bilateral cooperation and upgrade diplomatic ties to ambassadorial level," IRNA said.

The ministers… "also agreed to reactivate committees dealing with economic and political cooperation,” it added.

"The Turkish foreign minister said that Ankara was determined to further strengthen relations with Tehran and exchange ambassadors in the immediate future," it added.

Ankara and Tehran were involved in a diplomatic row in February when Iran’s ambassador made remarks interpreted by Turkish media as a call for the introduction of Islamic sharia law in secular Turkey.

Iran denied interfering in Turkey’s internal affairs and the two countries withdrew their ambassadors as the row escalated.

IRNA said "Kharrazi … reminded his Turkish counterpart that military cooperation between Turkey and Israel has caused concern among regional states."

Iran has condemned naval exercises Turkey plans to hold with Israel and the United States in the Mediterranean in November–saying they were … "a threat to Arab states as well as the whole region.”

It has also attacked Turkey for signing air force cooperation accords with Israel.

Turkey and Iran have also been at odds over the Kurds.

Tehran has harshly criticized Turkey for its cross-border operation into Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq in June. Turkey accuses Iran of providing military assistance to Kurds. Iran denies that.

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