Iran’s president to visit Turkey for dialogue on Gaza

Iran’s president to visit Turkey for dialogue on Gaza

Iran’s president to visit Turkey for dialogue on Gaza

A Turkish official announced on Tuesday that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will visit Ankara on January 4 to meet his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan. The topics of their talks are expected to include bilateral relations, the situation in Gaza and Syria, and other matters.

The official added that the conflicting schedules of the foreign ministers of the two regional powers caused Raisi’s scheduled visit in late November to be rescheduled. The foreign minister of Turkey was visiting New York at the time as a member of a “contact group” of Muslim nations discussing Gaza.

Turkey has sharply denounced Israel for its attacks on Gaza, demanded an immediate ceasefire, and stated that Israeli leaders should face war crimes trials in international courts. Turkey favours a two-state solution to the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Turkey has increased its rhetoric against Israel since it began its air and military assault on Gaza in response to the attack on October 7 by the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, but it has still kept trade links with Israel, drawing criticism from Iran and certain opposition parties.

Turkey, a member of NATO, does not view Hamas as a terrorist organisation, in contrast to other Arab countries and its Western partners.

Iran, its eastern neighbour, leads a loose coalition known as the Axis of Resistance, which also includes Hamas and armed Shi’ite Muslim organisations in the area that have violently opposed Israel and its allies in the West. It has declared its support for Hamas and threatened to impose more sanctions should the conflict in Gaza not end.

Iran and Turkey have historically had tense relations because they disagree on a number of subjects, most notably the Syrian civil conflict. While Tehran backs President Bashar al-Assad’s administration, Ankara provides diplomatic and military support to rebels seeking to overthrow him.

In 2020, Ankara initiated a diplomatic drive in the region by strengthening ties with Assad, even as representatives of Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Russia engaged in multiple rounds of talks to find a political solution to the conflict.

(With agency inputs)