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.
Ahmet Davutoglu tells party faithful in Ankara that Turkey has become a shelter for Syrians
Several media organs reported that 150,000 troops from Saudi Arabia would soon be dispatched to Syria through Turkish borders
Deputy prime minister Kurtulmus warns of the worst case scenario
Turkish premier Davutoglu condemns attacks on civilians amid peace talks
'No one should assume that just because Turkey is taking in all the refugees that it should be expected to shoulder the refugee issue alone,' Turkish PM warns
Turkish Prime Minister says Turkey and Germany are to work together for NATO involvement in curbing refugee flow
Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus has said Turkey did not have option to say 'no' to refugees fleeing from bombardments in Syria and Iraq
'We are not in a position to tell them not to come. If we do, we would be abandoning them to their deaths,' says deputy PM
'If they reached our door and have no other choice, if necessary, we have to and will let our brothers in,' President Erdogan says
Erdogan says western powers 'ignore' terrorist actions perpetrated by armed wing of PKK’s Syrian affiliate
Iraqi citizens will no longer be able to enter Turkey with a sticker visa, and instead will need to apply for an electronic or paper visa
'I find this Russian statement laughable... rather it is Russia that is currently engaged in an invasion of Syria,' Turkish president says
Plan includes 'comprehensive democratic reform', greater powers for local administrations and economic measures
Erdogan says Syrians will continue to flee country unless Russian and regime airstrikes cease
Leaders of governments, NGOs and members of civil society met in London on Thursday to raise funds for those affected by crisis in Syria
MPs from all parties meet to reform Turkey’s military-era constitution