Middle East deal

Middle East deal

Trend Arabic news service commentator Aygul Taghiyeva

The always unstable Middle East region has seen memorable events this week. First of all, one should note the developments in Syria.

On Monday, Special Envoy of the UN and the League of Arab States on Syria Kofi Annan received a positive response to his proposal to resolve the crisis in the country. Damascus accepted Annan's initiative, which envisages the fulfillment of the people's demands and the immediate cessation of armed conflict by all parties.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's official visit to Iran was also an important development in recent days. The main topics during the visit were the situation in Syria and the resuming of talks between the "six" and Iran over its nuclear program.

Is there a correlation between these two issues? It is known that the views of Iran and Turkey, two economic partners and at the same time competitors in the region, vary on the Syria crisis. It has long been no secret that Iran is almost the only country in the region that tries to resist the fall of Syrian President Assad by all means. In addition, Iran has poor relations with Arab states in the Persian Gulf and with the Western world.

Meanwhile, while analyzing Turkish-Iranian relations over the past, it is impossible not to be surprised at high pace of their development.

In 2011, the trade turnover between the two countries reached $16.5 billion. This is a record figure in the history of their bilateral economic relations. It should be also recalled that Iran is a major exporter of oil and gas to Turkey. Ankara has recently reiterated that
it will not stop buying hydrocarbons from Iran despite sanctions by the West.

Undoubtedly, Tehran values energy cooperation with the "loyal" Turkey, while other major importers of Iranian oil such as China, India and South Korea are looking for new sources of energy resources.

It is interesting that China, which always opposed international pressure on the Syrian leadership accepted Annan's plan. The same thing happened with Russia, which agreed withafter the UAE foreign minister's visit to Moscow.

Given all this, one can assume that Erdogan's current visit to Iran will yield some results in terms of solving the Syrian problem, the more that Turkey is always ready to act as a mediator in international conflicts, and can try to take this role again to become a mediator between Tehran and the West to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue.

Tehran, which faces many economic sanctions, will be only glad to have Ankara's mediation and may make some concessions in the Syrian issue for its own interests.

An interesting facet of Erdogan's visit to Iran is that the Turkish delegation, along with ministers, also includes Turkish intelligence service head Hakan Fidan.

One would wonder why the intelligence service head is going to Iran together with the PM? However, if we remember the recent conflict between Ankara and Tehran over the possible arrest of a second man in the terrorist Kurdistan Workers Party in Iran, all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place.

It should be recalled that when Iran refuted the accusations of Turkish officials, who argued that Iran managed to capture the individual, but is keeping him quietly detained so as a to put pressure on Ankara.

If we analyze the above, we conclude that Iran and Turkey have something to negotiate, and after this visit, some issues will be resolved.

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