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Rouhani Explores Enhanced Turkmen Ties
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Rouhani Explores Enhanced Turkmen Ties

Iran and Turkmenistan need to use all available capacities to promote bilateral ties, said President Hassan Rouhani.  
He made the remarks in a meeting with his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow in Ashgabat on Wednesday.
Rouhani's visit was made at the invitation of the Turkmen president and in response to his earlier visit to Iran, IRNA reported.
In the meeting, Rouhani expressed pleasure with visiting the neighboring country and the growing relations between the two nations that "have traditionally maintained friendly relations."
"The two sides are well aware of the significance of (maintaining) bilateral relations," said Rouhani, who also praised his Turkmen counterpart's efforts in developing mutual relations especially in recent months.
Rouhani said Iran has always supported Turkmenistan's policy of peace and friendship and the Central Asian country's "status of permanent neutrality."

The two presidents signed 17 collaboration agreements in various economic, cultural, and environmental fields. “The agreements reached in this trip will undoubtedly improve bilateral relations,” said the president, hoping that the journey will “bring good news” for the two nations.

  New Stage
Berdimuhamedow, for his part, pointed to the outstanding ties with Iran, saying the relationship is entering a new stage.
Referring to growing bilateral trade in various fields such as oil and gas, transportation, agriculture, water, and electricity, he said, “There are still good capacities for promoting trade transactions,” which he said need to be addressed by the joint commission on economic cooperation.
Saying that Iran and Turkmenistan have established fine cultural relations based on their rich cultural values, he called for more interactions in such fields as science, sports, and tourism.
The Turkmen president also appreciated measures taken by President Rouhani to promote expansion of bilateral ties, noting that Iran was one of the first nations that recognized Turkmenistan’s neutrality policy.
Berdimuhamedow invited Rouhani to take part in a conference on peace, friendship, and neutrality, which is to be held in Turkmenistan later this year. The invitation was welcomed by Rouhani.
Turkmenistan’s foreign policy is based on the status of permanent positive neutrality recognized by the UN General Assembly Resolution on Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan, which was adopted on December, 12 1995. Neutrality Day of Turkmenistan is celebrated in Turkmenistan annually on December 12.  

  High-Level Meeting
The volume of trade between Iran and Turkmenistan was set to reach $60 billion in ten years at a meeting between high-level delegations of the two countries, which was chaired by the two presidents.
Addressing the meeting, Rouhani said the recent agreements will help improve relations between the two countries more than before, “which is in the interest of the region and the world.”
Describing Iran and Turkmenistan as two major energy producers, the two officials called for expansion of cooperation in the field.
Rouhani expressed Iran’s readiness to increase cooperation in the transit of energy supplies as well as the provision of technical and engineering services, saying Iran is keen on maintaining exchange of power and gas with Turkmenistan. The two sides also conducted negotiations on defining a legal regime for the Caspian Sea and called for measures to facilitate banking cooperation to help expand trade and promote cooperation in the areas of environment, drugs control, and preservation of water resources.
Rouhani also appreciated Turkmenistan’s positive stance toward Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities and said the two countries hold similar views on regional and international issues.
Berdimuhamedow reciprocally applauded Iran’s efforts in the international arena and underlined the significance of mutual cooperation in dealing with common threats such as drugs and extremism.
Rouhani was scheduled to return to Iran on Wednesday night.      

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