World Bulletin / News Desk
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi is to visit Turkey on Tuesday for previously unscheduled talks expected to focus on Syria and a group of Iranians seized by rebels there, an Iranian diplomat in Ankara said.
A Turkish foreign ministry official confirmed the visit, during which he said regional issues will be discussed in talks with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
"It is expected that the talks will take up the Syrian issue and the situation of the pilgrims kidnapped in Damascus, as well as bilateral issues," the Iranian diplomat told Reuters.
He said Salehi was expected to arrive in the afternoon and leave again on Tuesday.
Iran has asked Turkey, as well as Qatar, to help secure the release of 48 Iranians seized by rebels in Syria on suspicion of being military personnel. Tehran says are pilgrims.
A Syrian rebel spokesman said on Monday three of the Iranians had been killed in a government air strike in Damascus and warned the rest of them would be executed if the attacks did not stop. There has been no word of their fate since then.
Syrian rebels fighting to topple Assad accuse Iran of sending fighters from its Revolutionary Guard to help Assad's forces put down the 17-month uprising.
Tehran denies the charge and says the group was on a religious pilgrimage to Syria. Iranian media said on Saturday that the 48 were abducted from a bus in Damascus, the latest in a string of kidnappings of visitors from the Islamic Republic.
In a sign of Tehran's diplomatic efforts to secure the release of its nationals, the secretary of Iran's National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, flew to Damascus on Tuesday after ending a visit in Beirut.
Speaking at southern border crossing Deputy PM Akdogan says all 35,000 Syrian refugees accepted into Turkey are being cared for
Mevlut Cavusoglu strikes note of caution amid reports of proposed cessation of hostilities in Syria
The building collapsed in a street close to Istanbul's pedestrian Istiklal Avenue, a main shopping district, leaving piles of rubble
'What is important now is embracing this opportunity, stopping the airstrikes, ceasing targeting civilians and providing humanitarian access,' Turkish foreign minister says
AFAD figures suggest Turkish aid to Syrian refugees dwarfs that of international organizations
'The operations in Cizre have been successfully completed as of today,' interior minister says
Turkish president has criticized UN and EU over refugee issue
Two suspects are accused of smuggling refugees and causing the deaths of five people, including three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, his five-year-old elder brother Galip and his mother Rihan
Attackers targeted pro-AK Party dailies Yeni Safak and Yeni Akit with Molotov cocktails and guns
Ahmet Davutoglu calls on international community not to pin its 'inability' on Turkey
"I find it hypocritical that some circles are telling Turkey to 'open your borders' while at the same time failing to tell Russia 'enough is enough'," Davutoglu says
State Dept. maintains US does not consider Syrian PYD a terrorist group
After an official visit to Saudi Arabia by the Turkish Chief of General Staff, it has been revealed that Turkey and Saudi Arabia will conduct joint military exercises.
Negotiations will reportedly focus on Gaza blockade and Hamas presence in Ankara
Mevlut Cavusoglu's remarks come after Washington's description of PYD as a 'reliable partner' in the fight against ISIL