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Iranian President Makes First Visit to Turkey


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in Turkey for two days of talks.

Shortly after his arrival in Istanbul Thursday, Mr. Ahmadinejad met with his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, for closed-door talks. The two are expected to hold a news conference later Thursday.

The Iranian leader is scheduled to meet Friday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Iran's state news agency, IRNA, says the Turkish and Iranian leaders will address issues of mutual interest and the latest regional and international developments.

The visit is President Ahmadinejad's first to neighboring Turkey since he took office in August 2005.

Turkish officials have called Mr. Ahmadinejad's trip to Istanbul a "working visit."


The Iranian leader will not go to the Turkish capital, Ankara, where protocol for state visits calls for placing a wreath at the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the secular founder of modern Turkey.

Last week, Israel protested against Mr. Ahmadinejad's visit to Turkey, saying it would give him unwarranted legitimacy.

The Iranian president has called for Israel's destruction and has questioned the Holocaust.

Turkey is one of the few Muslim countries with close ties to Israel.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.



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