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Ankara mediates Iraq-Syria talks on bombing row

Ankara mediates Iraq-Syria talks on bombing row

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will meet with his Iraqi and Syrian counterparts Hoshyar Zebari and Walid al-Moallem at a trilateral meeting in Istanbul tomorrow as part of Ankara's efforts to reconcile the countries after Iraqi accusations that Syrian-based militants were responsible for recent bomb attacks on Baghdad government buildings which left dozens dead. This follows a meeting in Cairo last week between Davutoglu, Zebari, Moallem and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa to resolve the crisis and persuade Iraq to withdraw its demand for an international tribunal. Davutoglu described the Cairo meeting as "constructive and comprehensive" and said the process would continue, but declined to say in what form. During visits to Baghdad and Damascus, Davutoglu reportedly proposed the establishment of a joint trilateral mechanism between Iraq, Syria and Turkey to fight those who launch attacks on their territories and help maintain a healthy dialogue between Baghdad and Damascus. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is also set to arrive in Ankara today in order to attend an iftar (fast-breaking dinner) hosted by Prime Minister Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

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