Turkish PM says Iran visit is beginning of new era

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says his recent visit to Iran’s capital Tehran indicates new era for both countries

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Iranian First Deputy President Ishak Cihangiri (right) and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (center left) hold a joint press conference at the Sa'dabad Complex in Tehran, Iran, on March 05, 2016.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu went on an official visit to Tehran on Saturday to discuss regional issues and boost bilateral trade ties in meetings with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during his visit following the lifting of international sanctions on Iran.

The two countries have agreed to act together to bring stability to the region despite of certain divisions between Turkey and Iran.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Iranian First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri at Saadabad Palace, Davutoglu told members of the press that "It is very important that Iran and Turkey develop certain joint perspectives in order to bring an end to ethnic and sectarian conflicts in our region."

It was Davutoglu’s first visit to Iran as prime minister and the first visit of a Turkish premier to Tehran in the last two years.

"This is my first visit to Iran as the prime minister and I am highly pleased with being here. Our meeting is the beginning of a new era," Davutoglu said.

Davutoglu emphasised that Turkey and Iran must develop a "common perspective" in order to end problems in the region and "not leave its destiny to extraterritorial actors."

"We were standing together with Iran during its hard times and our further cooperation with Iran will be for the benefit of the both countries and the region," he added.

Eshaq Jahangiri also mentioned his country's desire to cooperate with Turkey to end conflicts in the region.

"Even though we have some different views in some fields, we also have common views in many fields. We’ve decided to act together in order to bring stability to the region," Jahangiri told the media.

Ankara and Tehran see developments in Syria and Iraq from a different perspective. Tehran supports the regime of Bashar al Assad in Syria, while Ankara considers the Syrian regime leader to be a "butcher."

Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu (L-4) and First Vice-President of Iran Eshaq Jahangiri attend Iran Business forum in Tehran, Iran March 5, 2016.

The visit also came about one and a half month after the US and the EU announced the lifting of international sanctions on Iran following the International Atomic Energy Agency’s declaration that the country was complying with its nuclear-related obligations agreed upon last summer.

Davutoglu said that Turkey and Iran have "a trade volume of about $10 billion; our goal is to take it to $30 billion."

Stating that 2 million Iranian tourists go to Turkey annually, he also called on Turkish companies to invest in the Iranian tourism industry.

He highlighted the potential for further cooperation between the two countries, especially with Iran being an important energy producer and Turkey positioned as a key host of energy pipelines.

Davutoglu said that the nuclear agreement signed between Iran and the group of world powers known as the P5 + 1 - the countries of the UN Security Council and Germany - satisfied Turkey.

"The integration of Iran in the international market offers new opportunities, more than all to Turkey, which has a big production capacity," he said.

Turkey and Iran share a 650 kilometer (404 mile) long border, which has not changed in the last three centuries, Davutoglu said.

He said that both sides desired friendly and neighbourly relations given their deep-rooted historical bonds.

TRTWorld, AA