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Iran stresses warm ties with Turkey

TEHRAN, April 5 (UPI) -- Iran and Turkey enjoy sustainable and friendly diplomatic relations despite some geopolitical differences, an Iranian deputy foreign minister said.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran's deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs, said despite Turkey's hosting of a Friends of Syria meeting and a decision to ease off of Iranian crude oil imports, the sides enjoyed warm diplomatic ties.

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Turkey was mentioned as a possible venue for multilateral nuclear negotiations scheduled for next week. Tehran, however, said it was examining Baghdad or Beijing as possible hosts.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was quoted by Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency as saying the venue was irrelevant.

"The place of talks between Iran and the other side is not important but what is important for Ankara, is to help the beginning of negotiations," he said.

Iran is suspected of using a civilian nuclear program as cover for weapons development, an allegation Tehran denies.

Mark Toner, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, said Washington was letting the European Union take the lead in the planned nuclear talks.

"What I think is the most important here is that we get into talks so we can focus on the substance and not the venue," he said.

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