Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek speaks during an interview in Beirut, Thursday, June 12, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Ankara's top priority is the safe release of its kidnapped nationals in Iraq after jihadists seized Turkey's consulate in the city of Mosul, the Turkish finance minister told The Daily Star Thursday on the sidelines of an economic conference in Beirut.Mehmet Simsek said his government was still considering the appropriate action to take after militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) took 80 Turkish nationals, including diplomats, staff members, security personnel and truck drivers, as hostages in the northern Iraqi city. While Ankara was seeking a prompt and peaceful resolution to the hostage crisis, he spoke of the importance of active engagement with regard to two pressing issues – the war in Syria and Iran's nuclear program.Disagreements over Syria between Turkey and Iran, a staunch ally of the Assad regime, shouldn't hinder dialogue between the two countries, Simsek added.
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