Iran, Turkey presidents express opposition to sanctions, unilateralism
Iran is keen to expand relations with Turkey in all fields, particularly in economic and trade sectors, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the fifth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Tajikistan's capital of Dushanbe on Saturday, Press TV reports. "Iran and Turkey have taken valuable steps to expand and deepen relations in recent years and this trend should be accelerated in proportion to enormous capacities and opportunities," the Iranian president said.
Iran and Turkey have agreed to step up their economic cooperation with the aim of reaching a $30-billion target set for their annual trade, voicing concern over the re-imposition by the US of unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic, a move which they say could affect the entire region's economy. The Iranian president also hailed "effective, successful and important" cooperation between Tehran and Ankara on regional issues and said, "Bilateral and trilateral cooperation, including with Russia, on regional issues, the Astana [peace] process, the fight against terrorism and Syria's stability are very important and in line with promoting peace and stability in the region."
At the end of the first day of the 12th round of Astana talks on April 25, Russian president’s special envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev said Iran, Russia, and Turkey, the three guarantor states of a ceasefire regime in Syria, are “clearly determined” to continue their fight against terrorism in the Arab country. “The talks dealt with the situation in Syria in general, and in the northwestern region of Idlib in particular where the terrorist organization of Jabhat al-Nusra controls the majority of the area,” Lavrentiev said.
The Turkish president, for his part, hailed growing relations between Tehran and Ankara and said his country attaches importance to further expansion of ties. Turkey is determined to enhance its relations with Iran in all fields, Erdogan said. Enhanced ties with neighbors, Iran's foreign policy priority: Rouhani
The Iranian president said the expansion of relations with neighboring and friendly countries, particularly Qatar, is among main priorities of the Islamic Republic's foreign policy. "Stability and security of regional countries are intertwined," Rouhani said in a meeting with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on the sidelines of the CICA conference.
"Bilateral and multilateral consultation and more cooperation are the only ways to reduce differences and solve regional problems," he added, expressing Iran's readiness to play a role in this regard. The Iranian president stressed the importance of forging unity and integrity in the Muslim world and said Tehran and Doha can make joint efforts to achieve this goal.
Cordial relations between the two countries are beneficial to regional nations, he added and urged both sides to make use of great potential to further boost economic relations to serve the two nations' interests.
The Qatari emir, for his part, said dialog, collective cooperation and political approaches are the only solutions to regional conflicts. Al Thani added that Qatar is keen to expand all-out ties with Iran.