Davutoglu: "An Iranian nuclear talks process without Turkey is out of the question"
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu yesterday denied US media reports that he had told US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Turkey would stay out of the Iranian nuclear issue. According to US media reports, during a phone conversation earlier this week, Clinton urged Turkey to leave the Iranian nuclear issue to the UN Security Council powers and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and Davutoglu agreed to this. However, speaking at a press conference following a Turkey-EU political dialogue meeting in Istanbul, Davutoglu denied the reports, saying, "There was no such an expression nor implication (during the conversation). On the contrary, Clinton told me that they appreciate Turkey's efforts on the issue." Stressing that Turkey will continue to do whatever it can do to solve the Iranian nuclear issue, Davutoglu said, "We're not looking for a place in this process. After all, there is no process without Turkey." Ankara has previously stated that a nuclear swap deal brokered by Turkey and Brazil with Iran this May was in line with the parameters in a letter that US President Barack Obama sent to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now the ball is in the court of the IAEA and the Vienna Group, made up of the US, Russia, France and the UN Security Council's nuclear watchdog. Turkey is continuing to closely follow developments on the issue and is also involved in talks between EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian Chief Nuclear Negotiator Said Celili. Visiting Spain this week, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki urged that Turkey and Brazil be included in nuclear talks between Iran and the Vienna Group.