British Foreign Minister cuts short Turkey visit due to captive British soldiers
( Cihan ) - British Foreign Minister Margaret Beckett has cut short his visit to Turkey and returned to London because of a row between Britain and Iran on 15 British marines held by the latter.
Beckett, who arrived in Turkish capital Ankara late on Monday, met her Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul.
A "swift and peaceful solution (to the row)" was to the interest of everyone, Beckett told a joint press conference with Gul. Later on Tuesday, Becket came together with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Following his meeting with Erdogan, Becket told reporters that she had talked over the phone to her Iranian counterpart on the row. "I discussed what developments there have been, whether we have made any progress in trying to resolve the issues. Unfortunately, it appears that may not be the case, she said.
"So, with great regret, I have decided to cut here my visit to Turkey and go to report to our parliament," she remarked.
"We will do everything we can through every diplomatic channel available to us, but in case that this is not possible, I have to report now to our parliament," Becket noted.
Becket was scheduled to meet Turkey's Chief EU Negotiator Ali Babacan on Wednesday in Istanbul.
On Friday, British Defense Ministry announced that 15 British sailors and marines inspecting a merchant ship in Iraqi waters were seized at gunpoint by personnel aboard Iranian navy ships.