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Iran, Turkey agree to develop “cooperation roadmap”, vow to boost all-out ties

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TEHRAN, Iran: The Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and his visiting Turkish Counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday agreed on designing a long-term “cooperation roadmap” and vowed to further comprehensive ties, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.

At the joint press conference held in the capital Tehran, the Iranian Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said that during the Monday talks, both sides agreed to draw up a new roadmap for long-term cooperation between Tehran and Ankara.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian (1st L) meets with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (1st R) in Tehran, Iran on November 15, 2021.

Amir Abdollahian called the relations between Iran and Turkey “friendly, historical and sincere” and said that “we hope in the upcoming visit of the President of Turkey Erdogan to Tehran. We will be able to finalize the roadmap for long-term cooperation between the two countries.”

He expressed the hope that the existing trade barriers between the two countries will be quickly removed by developing joint mechanisms.

“In today’s meeting, we paid special attention to facilitating transit traffic and consular issues, and we do not see any serious obstacles to accelerate this cooperation,” he noted.

Under the circumstances of the pandemic, Iran and Turkey’s trade relations were affected to some extent, however, both have been able to manage the continuation of these relations, said the Iranian senior official.

Asked about tripartite cooperation to open a trade route from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through Iran to Turkey, Amir Abdollahian said “we are considering trilateral and multilateral cooperation, given the existing capacities in the region.”

As for the regional and international issues, he stated that there is a lot of consensus between Iran and Turkey on regional issues which were considered during the Monday talks.

“We had a good conversation on various international and regional issues, focusing on the recent developments in Afghanistan and emphasizing the stability of security in West Asia,” said the Iranian top diplomat.

With reference to the existing crisis in Yemen, the Iranian foreign minister expressed his hope that the civil war in the Arab state would end as soon as possible and it would bring an end to the humanitarian siege imposed on the country.

Moreover, he pointed to the recent developments in Lebanon, noting that “we are concerned about what has happened in the diplomatic area and the closure of some Arab embassies in this country, and we will continue our policies to support Lebanon.”

Iran and Turkey condemn the recent terrorist act against the Iraqi prime minister and hope that with the formation of the new parliament, stability will be restored in Iraq, said Amir Abdollahian.

For his part, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu expressed satisfaction with his visit to Iran and offered his sympathy with the victims of the recent earthquake in Iran’s southern Hormozgan province.

“Turkey has always been a brother to Iran and is ready to provide any kind of services,” he said.

Also, preparations for holding the seventh High Cooperation Council between the two countries were discussed and, “based on the proposal of the Iranian side, it was decided to prepare a roadmap for long-term cooperation between the two countries and to sign it on the sidelines of the High Cooperation Council meeting” in the future, said Cavusoglu.

Other documents, among them fighting against smuggling, illegal immigration and border issues, will be hopefully signed on the sidelines of the forthcoming summit, he added.

Unfortunately, during the coronavirus pandemic, there was a decline in economic relations between the two countries, but it was compensated by the 71 percent growth in trade transactions in the current year, he said, adding that “although this figure is promising, we are far from the goals we have set and we need to be more active in this area.”

With reference to the upcoming talks on Iran’s nuclear program, Cavusoglu urged the revival of 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and lifting unilateral sanctions against Iran.

Expressing satisfaction with the resumption of JCPOA talks, he said “I hope these talks will reach a positive result, not only for economic issues but also for the regional stability.”

He emphasized bilateral cooperation in regional issues as “important,” saying that Turkey is ready to cooperate with Iran on the issues about Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

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