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Davutoglu downplays Turkey, Iran rivalry, says ties good

Türkiye Materials 29 March 2012 06:07 (UTC +04:00)
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has downplayed rivalry between Turkey and Iran and said the relations between the two nations are in an “exceptionally good level,” Today's Zaman reported.
Davutoglu downplays Turkey, Iran rivalry, says ties good
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has downplayed rivalry between Turkey and Iran and said the relations between the two nations are in an "exceptionally good level," Today's Zaman reported.

Speaking at a ceremony of opening Yunus Emre Cultural Center on Wednesday in Tehran, one of many state-sponsored institutions across the world to promote Turkish culture, Davutoğlu said establishing such centers is a reflection of strong political will.

He said Turkish-Iranian relations are not "ordinary neighborhood relations" and called the borders of the two countries "borders of peace."

He said some people are portraying Turkish-Iranian relations as rivalry and he said it is more about relations that "affect each other." He added that Turkey and Iran are today enjoying very good relations.

Davutoğlu arrived in Tehran on Wednesday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is also accompanied by a large delegation of ministers and officials, for discussions on Syria, Iran's nuclear program and closer economic ties.

While Turkey has repeatedly voiced its support for Iran's right to establish a peaceful nuclear program, it is at odds with Tehran over Syria where the government's bloody crackdown against opposition fighters and protesters has killed thousands.

A Turkish official also played down divisions over Syria in an interview with Reuters. "They (Iran) respect our leadership and our opinions. We have good cooperation with Iran and they know we are trying to bring stability to the region," the diplomat said.

But a diplomat in Tehran said events in Syria had damaged relations between Iran and Turkey a great deal and that many believed this issue was the most important of this week's talks.

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