Iran, Turkey Vow to Boost Trade, End Syria Fighting

Iran, Turkey Vow to Boost Trade, End Syria Fighting
Iran, Turkey Vow to Boost Trade, End Syria Fighting

Iran and Turkey on Thursday pledged to work closer to strengthen their economic relations despite US sanctions on Tehran and help end the fighting in Syria. 
In a joint statement issued at the end of the fifth meeting of Iran-Turkey High Council of Strategic Cooperation in Ankara, President Hassan Rouhani and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said they will support efforts aimed at raising annual bilateral trade to $30 billion from the current $11 billion. 
They stated that this target can be achieved by providing further support to the joint economic commission, carving out new areas of cooperation, creating an environment more conducive to investment, facilitating the transit of goods and engaging the private sectors of the two countries, the Iranian president’s website reported. 
Rouhani and Erdogan also underlined the importance of continuing their countries’ joint work to find a peaceful resolution to the situation in war-torn Syria and combat terrorism and extremism while respecting the Arab state’s “territorial integrity, political unity and national sovereignty”. 
Their talks came a day after US President Donald Trump announced that he was ordering staff to execute the “full” and “rapid” withdrawal of US military from Syria, declaring that the US has defeated the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group. 
The Iranian and Turkish leaders reaffirmed their commitment to increasing two-way trade and contributing to the establishment of peace and stability in Syria during a joint press conference held after their meeting.

Common Interests 

Rouhani told reporters that ties between the two nations are based on “mutual interests” and hailed the Turkish government’s “strong stance” against US unilateralism and economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic. 
“No one, no power and no third country will be able to undermine the good neighborly, brotherly and friendly relationship between Tehran and Ankara,” he said, while criticizing Washington’s exit from the Iran nuclear deal. 
Trump in May pulled America out of the agreement Tehran struck with world powers in 2015 and reimposed a first round of sanctions that mainly targeted Iran’s banking sector in August.
A second phase of sanctions targeting Iran’s energy sector came into effect on Nov. 5, although Washington granted a 180-day reprieve to the eight largest buyers of Iranian oil, including Turkey.
Rouhani said he and the Turkish president agreed on continuous cooperation in the areas of industry, transportation, energy, tourism and culture.

Destructive Policy 

Erdogan slammed US sanctions on Iran, saying that they “endangered regional safety and stability, and we do not support them”.
“We will continue to stand by the brotherly Iranian people,” he was quoted as telling the press conference by AP. 
“We must intensify our efforts to establish peace in Syria that embraces all Syrians,” according to CNN. 
“We have not and will not allow any organization to threaten the security and stability of our country, or our region,” Erdogan said. 
“Our will is steadfast in continuing and increasing our cooperation with Iran on this issue and to neutralize common threats together.” 
The Iranian president said, “Turkey and Iran are in agreement when it comes to preserving the territorial integrity of Syria.” 
Two memorandums of understanding on cooperation in the fields of health and communications were signed by senior Iranian and Turkish officials during Rouhani’s visit. 


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