US delegation en route to Ankara to discuss Iran sanctions
A U.S. delegation of Treasury and State Department officials will meet Turkish authorities on July 20 to discuss sanctions targeting Iran, an official from Turkey's foreign ministry has said.
"A U.S. delegation currently holding talks in India will be visiting Ankara on July 20 regarding sanctions against Iran," a foreign ministry official told Reuters.
"The delegation will meet with related institutions, including from the foreign and finance ministries."
A U.S. embassy spokesman confirmed that the talks would take place on July 20 and would focus on Iran sanctions.
Two months ago, President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of a 2015 nuclear pact with Iran reached by his predecessor Barack Obama and other world powers, and ordered tough U.S. sanctions on Tehran.
A senior State Department official said last month Washington had told its allies to cut imports of Iranian oil by November - a call which Ankara publicly resisted.
"Iran is a good neighbor and we have economic ties. We are not going to cut off our trade ties with Iran because other countries told us so," Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said three weeks ago.
Turkey, a NATO member in strategic alliance with the U.S., is dependent on imports for almost all of its energy needs.
In the first four months of this year, Turkey bought more than 3 million tonnes of crude oil from Iran, almost 55 percent of its total crude supplies, according to data from the Turkish energy watchdog (EPDK).
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has criticized the United States's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran as other country leaders have.