Iran’s Rouhani praises relations with Turkey
TEHRAN - Anadolu Agency
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Dec. 19 hailed his country’s close ties with Turkey and called for stepped-up economic relations.
Speaking to reporters at Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport, Rouhani - now on a state visit to Turkey at the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan - said that economic relations would top the agenda of talks at a Dec. 20 meeting in Ankara between the two leaders.
On Dec. 20, Rouhani is slated to attend the fifth session of the Turkey-Iran Cooperation Council in the Turkish capital.
“We will discuss means of enhancing ties and overcoming the obstacles to achieving that goal,” Rouhani said, adding: “Turkey is extremely important to Iran.”
“We share deep historical, cultural and religious ties,” the Iranian president said.
“In recent months, Turkey - and especially President Erdoğan - has taken a firm stance against the U.S. sanctions [on Iran].”
In reference to recent tripartite talks on Syria between Turkey, Iran and Russia, he said: “We’re pursuing two very important issues: the security of Syria and the return of refugees.”
He added: “But Syria’s future must be decided by Syrians.”