Turkey summons Iran envoy over criticism against Erdogan

Ankara, Jan 8 (IANS) Turkey has summoned Tehran’s ambassador to Ankara over a controversy created by the Iranian media following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement here.

The statement condemned the stories run by the Iranian media and the accusations against Erdogan, and demanded an end to such publications and broadcast that aim to create a negative image of the Turkish president in the minds of Iranians, Xinhua reported.

The safety of foreign diplomatic missions was a responsibility of host countries; therefore, the attacks against Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran and Consulate in Mashhad could not be explained and accepted, said the statement issued on Thursday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Saudi Arabia between December 29-31.

On January 2, Saudi Arabia executed prominent Shia cleric Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, along with 46 others convicted of “terrorism”.

While Tehran warned that Saudi Arabia would pay a “steep price” for the cleric’s death, Iranian protestors attacked Saudi diplomatic missions in Tehran and the Iranian city of Mashhad.

On Sunday, Riyadh severed all diplomatic ties with Iran and gave Iranian diplomats 48 hours to leave the kingdom.

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