Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Friday that the negotiations on Iran's nuclear program were not an issue to be watched from outside.
Speaking on private Turkish TV channel NTV on Friday, Davutoglu said that following closely international arrangements on nuclear energy was crucial for Turkey's national interests.
Touching on the new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program between Iran and five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany taking place in Istanbul, Davutoglu said that it was the Turkish government's desire to see the parties reach a common ground.
You have to look at the past in order to realize the importance of today's talks in Istanbul. The fact that two meetings took place in two months is a sign of good things to come, Davutoglu said.
The issue of Iran's nuclear program is not one that we would want to watch from outside. Had the meeting taken place in Alaska, we would have been there as well. Following closely all international arrangements on nuclear energy is important for our national interests, Davutoglu stressed.
"Turkey not withdrawn from mediation"
In reference to Turkey's role in Lebanon after a recent political crisis erupted in that country, Ahmet Davutoglu said that, since the day he left Lebanon, after holding talks, no street clashes took place in Lebanon as the Lebanese had confidence in Turkey.
The two sides in Lebanon will give the new process a chance, Davutoglu said.
I have not made any remarks that Turkey withdrew from being a mediator in Lebanon. Turkey wants to see a government in Lebanon that embraces all relevant sides, Davutoglu said.
Lebanese history is full of painful events. We can not let Lebanon live similar pain in the future, Davutoglu said.
Commenting on remarks that Turkey pursued "neo-Ottoman" policies, Davutoglu said that "just as France's invitation to Turkey to attend an international meeting on Lebanon in Paris does not mean neo-colonialism for France, Turkey's interest in Lebanon did not imply a "neo-Ottoman" policy".