Rouhani Discusses Expansion of Ties With Regional Leaders

Rouhani Discusses Expansion of Ties With Regional Leaders
Rouhani Discusses Expansion of Ties With Regional Leaders

President Hassan Rouhani held phone conversations with the top authorities of regional Muslim countries on Saturday to discuss ways of expanding bilateral ties. 
He congratulated them on the Islamic festive occasion of Eid al-Adha (July 31), describing it as a symbol of unity among Muslim nations, reported. 
Speaking to his Iraqi counterpart, Barham Salih, Rouhani pointed to the recent trip of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to Tehran, saying it offered an opportunity to discuss various areas of mutual interest. 
He hoped the previous agreements would soon become operational and trade between the two countries would improve. 
"Iran is determined to expand multifaceted ties with Iraq and is ready to share its experiences on combating the coronavirus [pandemic] to this country," he said, hoping that the people and authorities of the two countries can make more visits for reducing the spread of the disease.
Salih thanked Iran for its support in the fight against the disease and stressed the need to improve cooperation and initiate joint projects. 
"Expanding relations and collaborations in all sectors with Iran is an inviolable principle of Iraqi foreign policy," he said. 
Rouhani later discussed relations with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 
He pointed to security issues in the volatile Middle East, hoping that joint efforts would lead to peace and stability across the whole region. 
Pointing to the United States' "cruel sanctions" against the Iranian nation, Rouhani said friendly countries like Iran and Turkey need to further increase cooperation under the current circumstances. 
The US imposed tough sanctions on Tehran in 2018, after unilaterally withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal. 
Erdogan stressed the importance of boosting economic relations between Tehran and Ankara, and speeding up the resumption of bilateral trade while observing Covid-19 health protocols. 
He also expressed hope that the High Council of Iran-Turkey Strategic Cooperation would soon be able to hold a meeting. 
Iran and Turkey agreed to step up economic cooperation with the aim of reaching a $30-billion annual target in bilateral trade. 
In a separate conversation with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, Rouhani said broad relations with Baku are a top priority ofTehran. 
He hoped agreements between the two states would soon be implemented in various sectors, especially the project to connect the neighbors through the Rasht-Astara railroad. 
Azerbaijan and Iran agreed late last year to build a railroad between Rasht, the capital of Iran's Gilan Province, and the border city of Astara in Azerbaijan as part of the International North–South Transport Corridor.
Aliyev said the railroad is of great importance to Azerbaijan that will spare no effort to remove the obstacles and complete the project as soon as possible. 
Rouhani also expressed Iran's readiness to share its experience on controlling the Covid-19 outbreak with Azerbaijan. 
He said officials from the two countries can continue their consultations through videoconferencing while in-person meetings are not possible due to the spread of the viral disease. 
The Iranian president called for extra efforts to keep bilateral trade afloat by following health guidelines during the pandemic. 
"Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan will definitely step toward further expanding their ties in the coming months," Aliyev said. 

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