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.
Operations targeting secret structure of FETO within police have been carried out in all 81 provinces of the country
Turkish Embassy has demanded that Greek authorities arrest those responsible, says Foreign Ministry
Renovated pediatric care unit in largest hospital in East African island nation unveiled with Turkish equipment
40 terrorists in northern Iraq and 30 in northeastern Syria killed early Tuesday, says Turkish General Staff
Council of Europe vote to impose monitoring comes after report on Turkey's democratic institutions
CHP leader says both sides uncomfortable with election board's decision to accept unsealed ballot papers
'I think we will consider this issue in the coming months,' Binali Yildirim says
Blasts in Kars, Sirnak provinces leave 1 more wounded
Highest administrative court rejects appeal to annul poll, saying no such act can be made against election board decisions
Head of Constitutional Court welcomes high voter turnout at April 16 constitutional referendum
2-day event will start in southern resort province of Antalya on Thursday
Turkey launched the operation in August to fight the ISIL group and to keep the YPG in check.
US president echoes his predecessors by using Armenian term 'Meds Yeghern' to refer to 1915 events
The blogger, writer and human rights activist began a hunger strike last week after claiming he had no access to a lawyer and had been "interrogated" on the content of his research.
Turkish foreign minister says Russian nationals will be able to stay in Turkey up to 90 days
At least four killed after strong winds hit several provinces across the country