Closer Tehran-Ankara Coop. Key to Mideast Peace

Erdogan said Iran and Turkey shoulder great responsibility in the region, so they should strengthen mutual cooperation to help ease regional tensions
Closer Tehran-Ankara Coop. Key to Mideast Peace  Closer Tehran-Ankara Coop. Key to Mideast Peace

President Hassan Rouhani underlined the need for promoting cooperation between Iran and neighboring Turkey to help advance the long-term interests of the Middle East.

During a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Thursday, Rouhani stated that the Islamic Republic is pleased with closer cooperation among Ankara, Tehran and Moscow to restore peace to the region, Press TV reported.

He expressed satisfaction over the Syrian ceasefire agreement brokered by Russia and Turkey, stressing that all should make an effort for the truce to prevail.

Referring to the forthcoming talks between representatives of the Syrian government and foreign-backed opposition groups in the Kazakh capital city of Astana on January 23, Rouhani said, "We are determined to fight all terrorist groups in the region. I hope the relative stability prevails in Syria and the region through cooperation between Iran and Turkey."

The Iranian president described terrorist groups as the common enemies of regional states and expressed "hope for expansion of bilateral relations and the resolution of major regional issues through mutual cooperation."

Rouhani also offered his condolences to the Turkish president on the death of Turkish citizens in recent terrorist attacks and expressed optimism that in light of cooperation between the two governments, terrorism could be eliminated to assure more tranquility for the people of the region.

The Turkish president extended his condolences on the recent passing of Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the late chairman of Iran's Expediency Council, describing him as a great statesman and a reputable politician, who endeavored for the establishment of regional peace and stability, and firm ties between Tehran and Ankara.

Erdogan stressed that his country intends to develop cooperation with Iran in all fields, noting that stronger Turkey-Iran relations could help settle regional problems.

"Iran and Turkey shoulder great responsibility in the region, so they should strengthen their mutual cooperation to ease regional tensions," he said.

Commenting on the ceasefire in Syria and the upcoming inter-Syrian negotiations in Astana, the Turkish president said all parties should try to consolidate the foundations of the current ceasefire in Syria.

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