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Iran’s Army Chief Meets Turkish President, Military Leaders In Rare Visit To Ankara

The chief of staff of Iran's armed forces, Mohammad Baqeri, has met with Turkey's president and military leaders in Ankara for talks over cooperation in the Syrian conflict and counterterrorism, officials say.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosted Baqeri at his presidential palace, the Turkish presidency said on August 16.

Baqeri met Turkey's Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli earlier on August 16 and his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar, the day before in what Turkish and Iranian media described as the first visit by an Iranian chief of staff since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution.

"There have been no such visits between the two countries for a long time, but considering regional developments and security issues -- border security and the fight against terrorism -- there was a need for such a visit," Baqeri told Iranian media upon arrival on August 15.

Reuters news agency quoted an Iranian source as saying that the two sides would discuss the war in Syria and the conflict in Iraq, as well as dealing with Kurdish fighters in the Turkish-Iranian border region.

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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