Davutoglu Meets Iran Leader Over Nuclear Row

turkish-fm-meets-iran-leader-over-nuclear-row-2009-11-20_lTABRIZ, Iran (Hurriyet)–Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday following Tehran’s dismissal of a UN nuclear fuel deal, officials and media reports have said.

The two came together in the northern Iranian city of Tabriz and the meeting mainly focused on Iran’s nuclear program as well as bilateral and regional economic relations, according to diplomats.

The Turkish foreign minister’s visit came as major world powers met in Brussels on Friday to discuss Iran’s dismissal of a nuclear deal after U.S. President Barack Obama warned of “consequences” for Tehran if it did not comply with the demands of the international community.

Last week, Davutoglu said Turkey had proposed a new formula to the Iranians on behalf of the international community in an attempt to make headway in dealing with Tehran’s nuclear plans. The Turkish foreign minister has been engaged in telephone diplomacy for the last two days with Iranian Foreign Minister Manucher Mottakki, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director Mohammed ElBaradei and US National Security Advisor James Jones.

ElBaradei had offered to store Iran’s enriched uranium in Turkey, the one country all sides would trust, and Ankara had expressed its openness toward that idea.

Davutoglu, who was in Afghanistan on Thursday to attend Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s oath-taking ceremony, also informed Ahmadinejad about developments in Afghanistan and said uncertainty there had disappeared after Karzai was elected president, which he called an important new step for the country’s security and stability, according to diplomats.

The two countries have also agreed to hold talks with third countries to improve the railroad line from Europe to China, which also passes through Turkey and Iran.

Turkey, NATO’s only member that neighbors Iran, says the row over Tehran’s nuclear program should be resolved through dialogue, arguing that sanctions or military action would have a damaging impact on the entire region.

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