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Iranian Foreign Minister Postpones Visit To Turkey

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said on August 11 that Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has postponed a planned visit to Turkey.

The ministry said the cancelation of the August 11 visit was the result of scheduling problems but did not provide further details.

Some Turkish media outlets reported that the visit was delayed because of an article Zarif penned for the Turkish opposition daily newspaper Cumhuriyet.

In the piece published on August 11, Zarif criticized U.S. policies in the Middle East.

Turkey and the United States are NATO allies that have agreed to cooperate in Syria. Last month, Turkey agreed to open up a southern base to U.S. and coalition forces for air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria and northern Iraq.

Turkey and Iran are on opposing sides of the Syrian conflict, with Ankara a vocal opponent of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad while Tehran remains one of his few allies.

Zarif was had planned to arrive in Ankara on August11 for talks focusing on what Ankara earlier had described as “the latest regional developments” and “points of mutual interest” for expanding bilateral ties.

Iran’s President Hassan Rohani last week called on Turkey to work closely together with Tehran against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.

Iran also has offered to mediate the conflict in Syria and has said it would soon present a Syrian peace plan to the United Nations.

On August 7, Iranian officials announced that Zarif planned to visit Moscow this week. But TASS reported on August 10 that the visit would take place the following week.

Diplomats from Iran, Russia, and the Syrian government have been meeting since August 4 in a bid to form a coalition against IS militants that includes Assad's government.

With reporting by Reuters and TASS
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