Ankara is planning to host the foreign ministers of Iraq and Iran, two countries with which Turkey currently has strained ties due to various reasons. During the visits, due to take place in late October, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is expected to meet with his Iraqi counterpart, Hoshyar Zebari, as well as the Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif.
Davutoglu first had talks with his Iranian counterpart in New York in late September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. It will be Zarif’s first visit to Turkey after the presidential elections in Iran in June.
Turkey and Iran disagree on the Syrian crisis with Tehran backing the regime of Bashar al-Assad and Ankara giving support for the ousting of Assad and to the beginning of a new political process in the neighboring country.
Turkey’s relations with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government, however, have deteriorated over accusations from Ankara that the Shiite prime minister is striving to monopolize political power at the expense of Sunnis and other groups. Maliki, in turn, has said Turkey has interfered in Iraqi politics and that it has become a “hostile state” in the region.
The visit from Iraq expected to take place in late October is being interpreted as an effort by Ankara to normalize ties with the neighboring country. The United States’ support for the Maliki government for the 2014 elections in Iraq has influenced Turkey to change its policy towards Baghdad.
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