Turkey Invites New Friend Iran to Asia Conference

Turkish President Abdullah Gul invites Ahmadinejad to conference, Iranian media notes closer ties.

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Maayana Miskin, | updated: 21:18

Watching Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on TV
Watching Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on TV
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Turkish President Abdullah Gul has extended an invitation to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to attend an upcoming conference in Istanbul. The conference, a six-day meeting of members of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) will begin on June 4.

CICA is a forum created for the sake of “enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia,” according to the organization's website.

Turkey will take presidency of the organization in June. The presidency is currently held by Kazakhstan.

Iran's state media outlet Fars noted the “expanding cooperation in all the different fields” between Iran and Turkey. The two nations are “experiencing a new era in ties and cooperation,” reports said.

Iran recently declared its solidarity with Turkey and Syria following joint Turkish-Syrian military exercises. Just two months later, Iran and Turkey declared that they had reached a deal according to which Iran will send its nuclear fuel to Turkey in exchange for nuclear fuel rods – a move designed to assuage Western fears over Iran's nuclear program.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has termed the deal “an act of deception.” United States officials expressed concern over the pact as well. American diplomats noted that the agreement would allow Iran to continue enriching nuclear fuel to 20%, in violation of United Nations resolutions.