World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish premier left the country for an official to Tehran Friday during which he will focus on regional issues and boosting bilateral trade ties following the lifting of international sanctions on Iran.
At a press conference in Esenboga International Airport in Ankara, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said relations between Turkey and Iran are crucial for the region, especially since the Middle East is passing through a very difficult time.
Davutoglu said Syria and Iraq would be the focus of his visit, despite the fact that Ankara and Tehran see events in the region from a different perspective.
Tehran supports the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, while Ankara considers the Syrian president as “the butcher” of Syrians.
This is Davutoglu’s first visit to Iran as prime minister and the first visit of a Turkish premier in Tehran within the last two years.
The visit comes about a month-and-a-half after the U.S. and EU announced the lifting of international sanctions on Iran following the International Atomic Energy Agency’s declaration that the country is complying with its nuclear-related obligations agreed last summer.
Davutoglu said Turkey and Iran have “a trade volume of about $10 billion; our goal is to take it to $30 billion”.
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 energy passage line providing country.
Davutoglu said the nuclear agreement signed between Iran and the world powers group, P5 + 1, 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 added.
Turkey and Iran share a 650 kilometer (404 mile) long border, which has not changed since the last three centuries, Davutoglu said.
He said that both sides desired friendly and neighborly relations given their deep-rooted historical bonds.
Davutoglu will meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri and Foreign Minister Mohmmad Javad Zarif during his visit.
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