Leader Supports Closer Turkey Ties

Leader Supports Closer Turkey TiesLeader Supports Closer Turkey Ties

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said a boost to Tehran-Ankara ties could help promote a relations among Muslim countries.

He made the remarks in a meeting with the visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday. Financial Tribune had published a short version of the Leader's remarks in its April 8 edition.  

"The power of any country in the Muslim world, in fact, represents the power of the Islamic Ummah and the general policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to help Muslim countries reinforce one another and avoid (moves) to weaken each other," the Leader said, noting, "An improvement in Iran-Turkey relations will contribute to the realization of this objective."

Referring to the latest developments in some regional countries and atrocities committed by the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria, Ayatollah Khamenei said, "Anyone who fails to see the hidden hand of the enemy in these matters is deceiving themselves."

"The outsiders, definitely, do not want these issues resolved, so it is on Muslim countries to make decisions in this regard. However, unfortunately, no proper and constructive collective decision has been made (so far)," IRNA quoted him as saying.

On the situation in Iraq, the Leader pointed to Iran's role to prevent the country falling into the terrorists' hands, saying, "Iran does not have a military presence in Iraq, but there exist historical, deep relations between the Iranian and Iraqi nations."

Elsewhere, regarding the ongoing conflict in Yemen, he said Iran's "stance vis-à-vis all countries, namely Yemen, is opposition to foreign interference. Thus, from our perspective, the solution to the crisis is that foreign attacks and interference against the people of Yemen must stop." He stressed that it is up to the Yemenis to decide their own future.

Ayatollah Khamenei expressed Iran's readiness to hold consultations and exchange views to find solutions to regional problems.

  No Need to Wait for West

Erdogan, for his part, underlined the necessity of addressing the problems in the Muslim world without resorting to the West's intervention, saying, "There are many problems in the region, which we should join hands to resolve and we should not wait for the West's (help)."

"We discussed political and economic bilateral relations as well as regional issues," Erdogan said, referring to his meetings with Iranian officials earlier in the day.  On the economic relations between the two sides, he said, "Iran-Turkey High Council for Strategic Cooperation has been set up and (the two sides) have instructed (their) ministers to pursue the program and increase the level of activities to achieve the target of $30 billion of trade between the two countries."

He stressed his position on the IS terrorist group, saying, "I do not consider Daesh (the Arabic acronym for IS, standing for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) to be Muslims."