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Radio France Internationale
Radio France Internationale

Iran's Raisi a no-show at Turkey summit, but meeting still 'on the books'

Not today: Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi didn't show up for a planned meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 28 November 2023. AP - Vahid Salemi

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Tuesday failed to appear at a summit in Ankara that Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan had earlier announced to reporters. However Iran says the meeting is still "on the books."

The confusion around Raisi's visit underscores the tensions lingering between the two regional powers despite their shared views on the Israel-Hamas war.

The Turkish presidency did not explain whether the visit had been cancelled or postponed.

But Iran's semi-official Mehr News Agency reported that Raisi's trip was "still on the agendas of both countries".

Quoting an unnamed source, the agency added that the foreign ministers of Iran and Turkey would be in New York on Wednesday to participate in a conference to discuss Gaza.

Iran's foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, is to meet with members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Qatar, Indonesia, Nigeria).

Erdogan had personally announced the Iranian president's first official visit to Turkey on his return flight from a summit between regional leaders in Riyadh on 11 November.

    "Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is coming to us on the 28th of the month," Erdogan had told reporters on board the flight.

    The visit was also announced by Turkey's state media and discussed extensively on television as late as Monday. But it was never officially confirmed by Raisi's office or Iran's official media.

    The two presidents and the countries' top diplomats had phone conversations over the weekend focused on the Gaza war.

    (with newswires)

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