Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has called for the promotion of economic and trade cooperation with neighbouring Turkey to mitigate the negative effects of the US sanctions and the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday, President Rouhani hailed the bilateral relations between Iran and Turkey as a model for the other neighbors.
Pointing to the negative impacts of the illegal US sanctions and the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic on the economic and trade interaction between Tehran and Ankara, President Rouhani expressed hope for growing trade ties in full compliance with the health protocols and with a rise in the transit of trucks and number of flights.
The president also stressed the need for the immediate implementation of the previous bilateral deals between the two countries, particularly the trade and banking agreements, considering the most recent meeting of Iran-Turkey High Council of Economic Cooperation, held in Tehran via videoconferencing.
President Rouhani further emphasized the necessity of joint action against terrorism, saying, “The terrorist groups could be a great threat to the region.”
The president also voiced Iran’s readiness to cooperate with Turkey in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic and share its experiences in tackling the pandemic.
President Rouhani then stressed the importance of protecting security of Iran’s border cities amid the escalation of fighting between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, adding, “Our stance on this issue is quite clear. We believe that war is not the solution, and the conflict needs to be resolved through dialogue and negotiations.”
“I believe that Iran and Turkey, as two powerful countries in the region, as well as Russia, can contribute to the establishment of peace and stability in the region, so that we’d see the establishment of peace and calm in the region with the implementation of the international law and territorial integrity,” the Iranian president stated.
Lauding the cooperation among Iran, Turkey and Russia for the settlement of crisis in Syria within the framework of the Astana Process, President Rouhani hoped that the trilateral interaction would resolve the problems in Syria, put an end to terrorism in the region, and protect Syria’s territorial integrity.
President Erdogan, for his part, hailed Iran as a friend and good neighbor of Turkey, and called for the expansion of bilateral ties under the agreements reached in the meetings of the High Council of Cooperation.
He also gave an assurance that Turkey will continue to support Iran against the US’ unilateral sanctions, saying Ankara would do its utmost, like before, to broaden the economic and trade ties with Tehran.
The Turkish president further described the cooperation with Iran in the war on terrorism as a major factor in ensuring regional peace and security, calling for continued interaction in the fight against terrorism.
President Erdogan finally expressed hope that the coordination between Turkey and Iran amid the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute would help settle the crisis through negotiations and restore calm and peace to the region.