Turkey asks regional states to help fight terrorism

Turkish President Abdullah GulTehran - Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Wednesday in Iran that member states of a regional economic grouping must help the global fight against terrorism.

Speaking at the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) summit in Tehran, Gul also said the grouping could work together to help resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Turkey, together with Iran and Pakistan, founded the ECO in 1985.

Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan later joined the group.

Gul added that terrorism in the region played a major role in Turkey's policy making and that Ankara would spare no efforts to strengthen regional stability.

The ECO summit was overshadowed by reports that Gul had delivered a personal message from US President Barack Obama to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The reports have not been confirmed but Gul said Tuesday prior to travelling to Tehran that the change of the US presidency meant that "all countries must rethink their policies."

The Turkish government has reportedly agreed to act as mediator between Iran and the US. (dpa)