AFP: A top US envoy will hold two days of talks with Turkish government and banking officials in a bid to strengthen cooperation on sanctions against Iran, the US embassy said Wednesday.
ANKARA (AFP) – A top US envoy will hold two days of talks with Turkish government and banking officials in a bid to strengthen cooperation on sanctions against Iran, the US embassy said Wednesday.
Stuart Levey, US undersecretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, was to meet in Istanbul Wednesday with banking sector leaders and representatives of private industry, the embassy said in a statement.
He will then fly to Ankara Thursday to meet senior officials from the foreign ministry, the finance mininstry, the banking sector watchdog and the financial crimes investigation board.
The talks will focus on the implementation of a fourth round of sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council in June on Iran over its controversial nuclear programme and on ways to “guard against Iranian abuse of the financial system”, the statement said.
Turkey, a non-permanent member of the Security Council, had voted against the latest sanctions in a bid to give a chance to diplomatic efforts for a peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear standoff.
In a newspaper interview earlier this year, Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said that Ankara would abide by UN sanctions on neighbouring Iran. But he ruled out following tougher measures imposed by the United States and the European Union.
In September, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara wanted a preferential trade agreement with Tehran which would allow the two neighbours to triple their trade in five years.
Turkey’s improving ties with Iran, coupled by a deep crisis in relations with one-time ally Israel, have sparked concern that Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted government is taking NATO’s sole majority Muslim member away from the West.