Tehran, Ankara Make Efforts to Remove Differences

Tehran, Ankara Make Efforts to Remove DifferencesTehran, Ankara Make Efforts to Remove Differences

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tehran-Ankara relations should not be negatively influenced by regional tensions.

Erdogan made the statement in a meeting with Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, on Saturday evening, IRNA reported.

Erdogan called for concentrating on commonalities between the two countries and exploiting all capacities to expand cooperation.

The Turkish president said some hands are trying to provoke "religious divisions" between the Middle East states, adding that the countries should be quick to handle disputes and promote brotherly relations.

"Ankara does not welcome escalated tensions in the region and it seeks dialogue to resolve misunderstandings," he said.

Erdogan also touched upon media reports about Turkey's alleged trade with the Islamic State militant group, asking the Iranian government to control the media that accuse Turkey of buying oil from the group.

In response, Jahangiri said Iranian media cannot be controlled by the government and they criticize Iranian government, too.

"You have never heard anything against Turkey form Iranian officials, while Turkish officials have delivered many statements against Islamic Republic of Iran, its government and sanctities of the people," he said.

Jahangiri noted that Iran deems the recent conflict between Turkey and Russia as an issue of concern and against the interests of region, adding that "we are ready to help ease the situation".

Moscow and Ankara have been locked in a war of words since November 24, when Turkey downed the Russian fighter jet over Syria, claiming that it had entered Turkish airspace, an accusation strongly rejected by Moscow.

Jahangiri noted that developing relations with all states, especially neighbors, based on good neighborliness and mutual trust, is a priority of Iran's foreign policy.

"Irrespective of disagreements over Syria's crisis, Tehran and Ankara should engage in cooperation to fight extremism and terrorism," Jahangiri said.

"Interaction, respecting the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries and devoting efforts to settle disputes would help sustain peace, calm and stability in the region."

  Meeting Croatian, Georgian Presidents

In a separate meeting with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Jahangiri said Iran's prominent location allows it to facilitate the entry of other countries to Central Asia.

He said the two countries should prepare the ground for private sectors to make contacts and engage in cooperation.

Grabar-Kitarovic said energy, tourism, shipbuilding, science and transportation are among fields in which the two sides can work.

She looked forward to visiting Iran in the upcoming months to help remove obstacles to increased cooperation.

Jahangiri also met Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili and said Iran and Georgia can cooperate to expand their railroad and highway links to connect the Black Sea to Persian Gulf.

"Increased transit of goods and energy will help elevate the level of communications and trade," Jahangiri said.

Margvelashvili said Georgia's priority is to develop transit infrastructures, while there are many other opportunities for broadening cooperation, which should be discussed.

"Economic cooperation will help promote peace and stability in Asia. Georgia is ready for opening a new chapter in bilateral ties," he said.  

The meetings were held on the sidelines of an international conference titled "Policy of Neutrality, International Cooperation for Peace, Security and Development" to mark the Neutrality Day of Turkmenistan.