Turkey, Iran to improve ties, cooperate against terror

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vow to improve relations between two countries, to fight against terrorism together

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shake hands during an official welcoming ceremony at Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on April 16, 2016.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey and Iran are determined to bring a solution to the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East mostly caused by terror and sectarianism.

Speaking at a news conference held after a closed-door meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Turkey’s capital of Ankara, Erdogan said “Turkey and Iran are the two important countries in the region. Therefore, we should cooperate to deal with the humanitarian crisis in the region caused by terror and sectarianism.”

“The two countries should lead efforts to stop bloodshed in the region, especially in Syria and Iraq,” he continued.

“If we can minimise the differences between Iran and Turkey by improving bilateral relations, we can provide this region with remarkable solutions.”

Rouhani said the unity among the two Muslim nations is important and Islamic Republic of Iran wants to make sure that all Muslim countries will be in peace without any terrorism.

The meeting came a day after the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) issued a statement criticising Iran for “its interference in the internal affairs of the states of the region and other member states including Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and Somalia, and its continued support for terrorism.”

In response, Rouhani boycotted the closing meeting of the OIC summit held in Turkey.

Rouhani and Erdogan also discussed economic relations, pledging to improve trade between the two nations.

Erdogan said “Turkey-Iran relationships have unfortunately been regressing in the recent years. Well indeed, we saw our trade volume went up to 22 billion dollars but unfortunately as a result of the sanctions it went down to approximately 10 billion dollars.”

“We need to recover this and we need to reach our main target which was 30 billion dollars at the initial face. So, God willing, very soon we will achieve this 30 billion dollars of trade volume target with the steps taken in this meeting,” Erdogan continued.

TRTWorld and agencies