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Iran Press TV

Turkish FM gives Zarif assurance Ankara respects Iran's sovereignty

Iran Press TV

Saturday, 12 December 2020 6:03 PM

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says Ankara's definite policy is to maintain close and cordial relations with Tehran based on good neighborliness after Turkish president's recitation of a poem provoked unease in Iran.

In a Saturday phone call, Cavusoglu assured Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan respects the Islamic Republic's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

He added that the Turkish president recited the poem in Baku just because he had not been aware of the sensitivity surrounding it and associated the poem only with Lachin and Karabakh.

During his visit to Azerbaijan's capital on Thursday, Erdogan attended a military parade that saluted Azerbaijan's recent victory in the recent Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

At the ceremony, which was also attended by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, the Turkish president recited a poem which bemoans the separation of Azerbaijan under the Tukmenchay Treaty during the Russo-Persian War (1826–28), but Erdogan referred to it in the context of the occupation of Azerbaijani territories of Lachin and Karabakh.

For his part, the Iranian foreign minister highlighted the significance of friendly and respectful relations between the two neighbors as well as cordial ties between the Turkish president and senior Iranian officials.

Zarif expressed hope that bilateral relations would be further improved on the basis of mutual trust.

Iran on Friday summoned Turkey's Ambassador Derya Ors to formally complain about the remarks made by the Turkish president which Tehran views as 'unacceptably meddlesome' with regard to the issue of the separation of Azerbaijan.

Saeed Khatibzadeh, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, said that the ministry's director general for Eurasian affairs voiced the Islamic Republic's "strong protest" and called for an "immediate explanation" from the government in Ankara.

Earlier on Friday, Zarif also said the Turkish leader had misunderstood the piece.

The Iranian foreign minister said "no one can talk about our beloved Azerbaijan."

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