Turkey: Iran must cooperate over plot allegations

AP News
Posted: Oct 21, 2011 2:14 PM
Turkey: Iran must cooperate over plot allegations

Turkey's foreign minister on Friday urged Iran to cooperate with the U.S. over an alleged conspiracy to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington.

Ahmet Davutoglu told the state-run Anatolia news agency hours after a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi, that the allegations against Iran are "serious" and that the country should take note of the evidence.

"Our advice to our neighbor Iran is to take notice of the evidence that the United States has and to help the legal process in a totally transparent manner," the agency quoted Davutoglu as saying. "That's the message I gave the Iranian foreign minister."

Two men, including an alleged member of Iran's special foreign actions unit known as the Quds Force, have been charged in New York with conspiring to kill the Saudi diplomat.

Last week, U.S. officials traveled to Turkey to brief the country on evidence they have in the alleged plot, according to Turkish media reports.

"Allegations that a country would engage in an assassination attempt in another country against a third country's ambassador are extremely serious and the issue needs to be treated with the necessary care and seriousness," Davutoglu said.

Earlier, Davutoglu held a joint news conference with Salehi, during which he urged both Iran and the U.S. to share what information they have and avoid escalating tensions.

"We do not believe that Iran, with its state traditions, would display such an act," Davutoglu told journalists. "But the United States says it has evidence and Saudi Arabia has also made certain statements."

Salehi, who was in Ankara to discuss cooperation with Turkey in the fight against autonomy-seeking Kurdish rebels, rejected the U.S. allegations as "weak, baseless and empty."

"Talking about them is a waste of time," he told reporters.