Iran and Turkey officials discuss Syrian crisis in Istanbul

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by euronews (in English)

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Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu welcomed Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif to Istanbul on Saturday.

Syria was at the top of the agenda. The conference comes ahead of the Geneva II Summit peace talks on the situation.

But Iran and Turkey have differing views on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Turkey’s Davutoglu told said at the press conference: “We are ready to do whatever it takes to bring an end to the suffering of the Syrian people, and the human tragedy that has been getting worse recently in Aleppo. In this regard, we have always been sincere in sharing our thoughts with Iran and we will continue to do so.”

Zarif, meanwhile, was more circumspect: “Our talks on Syria started, there are certain minute differences in terms of our positions but those differences will be eliminated once and for all though mutual understanding.”

For the last three years, Iran has backed Assad, while Turkey has sided with the opposition. But both sides want to end the bloodshed that has left over 130,000 dead.