Economy, Domestic Economy

Transit Dispute With Turkey Resolved

Transit Dispute  With Turkey ResolvedTransit Dispute  With Turkey Resolved

Top officials from Iran and Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at facilitating trade between the two countries as well as ending a three-months-long dispute over truck transit fees, ISNA reported on Friday.

According to the new transit fee agreements, Iranian trucks crossing the Iran-Turkey border are not required to pay any transit fees, effective from midnight of Friday, January 16, while the Turkish trucks transiting goods between Iran and Turkey are supposed to pay $0.3 euro ($0.35) as price differential for each liter of fuel they purchase in Iran.

The dispute broke out on October 10 when Turkey started charging Iranian trucks $31 per 100 kilometers of drive inside Turkish territory. Iranian officials retaliated by doing the same. Turkey later raised the rate to $63 per 100 kilometers. Tehran said it levied the $31 fee on Turkish trucks due to the gap between fuel prices in the two countries. Turkish fuel stations, for their part, stopped selling fuel to Iranian trucks.

Mahmud Va’ezi, the minister of communications and information technology, led a delegation to Ankara on Tuesday in the hope of finding a permanent resolution to the transit fee dispute as well as to prepare the ground for further economic collaborations between the two neighboring countries.

The visit took place upon official invitation extended by Cevdet Yilmaz, the Turkish minister of development and head of Iran-Turkey joint economic cooperation commission. The two parties exchanged views on banking and customs procedures, infrastructure development for road and railroad transportation. They arrived at unified customs regulations, and agreed to establish peace and stability in the region.

The two parties also set a target to achieve up to $35 billion in bilateral trade before the end of 2105 and discussed the practical aspects of the preferential trade agreement (PTA) to boost the political, cultural and trade relations between Iran and Turkey.

The Turkish minister of development, Yilmaz referred to the establishment of a High Council on Iran-Turkey Strategic Cooperation, the first session of which was held in Ankara in June when President Hassan Rouhani visited Turkey, as an important step towards promoting bilateral relations.

The high council’s second session is scheduled to be held in Tehran in the near future for which Turkey’s President Recep Teyyip Erdogan will visit Tehran. Va’ezi expressed hope that the upcoming visit of the Turkish president to Tehran would further help enhance the bilateral relations, and would “demonstrate the two countries’ strife for peace and stability in the region and their opposition to extremism and radicalism.”

The official further noted that the volume of commercial transactions between Iran and Turkey has grown considerably, reaching $11.3 billion in the first 10 months of the current Iranian year, based on official statistics.

During his two-day visit to the country, Vaezi met with top Turkish officials including Turkey’s prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Minister of Economy, Minister of Customs and Trade, and the Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication.