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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says cooperation between Iran and Turkey will play a positive role in the settlement of regional issues, urging the two countries to focus their efforts on the fight against terrorism.
“Iran and Turkey have common objectives and interests and must strengthen the foundations for peace and stability in the region through [improving] bilateral cooperation and focusing on the fight against terrorism as a common enemy,” Rouhani said in a meeting with visiting Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Tehran on Saturday.
He stressed the importance of fighting terrorism as a common threat to all nations and said foreign countries have never sought to solve regional problems and only seek to meet their own interests.
“We believe that regional problems should be settled by regional countries and nations and Iran-Turkey cooperation will undoubtedly play a constructive role in establishing sustainable peace in the region,” the Iranian president pointed out.
He pointed to numerous commonalities between the two neighboring countries and said Tehran and Ankara can take “constructive and effective” steps to boost unity in the Muslim world.
Rouhani said Iran and Turkey both agree that the future of every country should be decided by its own people, territorial integrity of countries should be respected, war should be stopped and aid should be provided to refugees.
He noted that regional problems have failed to affect Tehran-Ankara relations and added that no obstacle can hinder the expansion of mutual ties in line with common interests.
The Iranian president said Tehran and Ankara enjoy great potential to expand ties in different sectors including transportation, energy, trade, joint investment, tourism, science and technology and expressed the country’s readiness to bolster cooperation with Turkey.
Turkey ready for Iran anti-terror ties: Davutoglu
The Turkish premier, for his part, said Ankara is determined to open a new chapter in relations with Tehran in different areas.
He said Iran and Turkey enjoy great capacities for increasing their level of cooperation.
Davutoglu also expressed Turkey’s readiness to cooperate with the Islamic Republic in the campaign against terrorism.
The Turkish premier arrived in Tehran at the head of a high-ranking political and economic delegation Friday night for a two-day official visit.
Iran’s Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri earlier on Saturday officially received Davutoglu in Tehran. During a joint news conference with Jahangiri, the Turkish premier said Tehran and Ankara must develop a “common perspective” in order to help end the crises plaguing the region.
“It is extremely important for Turkey and Iran to develop some common perspectives in order to end our region’s fight among brothers, to stop the ethnic and sectarian conflicts,” the Turkish PM said.
Tehran and Ankara may have differences over regional issues, “but we cannot change our history or our geography,” he added.
Jahangiri, for his part, said the restoration of peace to the Middle East is in the interest of both Iran and Turkey.
The Iranian official highlighted the two neighbors’ determination to enhance their bilateral relations, particularly in the economic sector.
Davutoglu’s visit is the highest level trip by the officials of the two neighboring countries for almost a year after President Recep Tayyib Erdogan paid an official visit to Tehran in April 2015.