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Iranian, Turkish FMs discuss regional, international issues

Tehran, Dec 2, IRNA-Iran's visiting Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki discussed major bilateral, regional, and international issues with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul in the capital Ankara on Thursday.

According to Iran's Foreign Ministry, the two sides underlined promotion of Tehran-Ankara amicable relations in all fields, aiming to strengthen regional peace and stability.

Stressing that expansion of friendly relations with other states is a major policy of Iranian government, Mottaki said the two capitals should use their numerous potentials to cement bilateral ties and restore peace in the region.

Tehran-Ankara trade balance stood at 4.5 billion dollars and has been planned to reach five billion dollars by the end of the current Iranian calender year (March 20, 2006), said the Iranian minister adding that Iranian and Turkish companies have desirable opportunities for joint ventures in the energy sector particularly natural gas projects.

Mottaki said the Iranian side has started working to this end upon an order by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for boosting Tehran-Ankara cooperation in all fields.

Iran and Turkey enjoy secure borders, noted Mottaki voicing Tehran's readiness to reinforce all-out bilateral relations.

Speaking about Iraq developments, Mottaki said Iran supports participation of all Iraqi political and ethnic groups in ongoing political process of the country which will safeguard its national sovereignty.

As for Iran's peaceful nuclear activities, the minister stressed that Tehran continues its cooperation and transparent approach and is ready to hold talks on its inalienable right to acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

Referring to Israel's nuclear arsenal, Mottaki said the Zionist regime has violated all international rules and regulations and is a "serious threat" to regional security.

The Turkish minister, for his part, said Ankara attaches great importance to expansion of relations with Tehran.

Gul added Ankara will welcome further exchange of views by the two capitals on bilateral ties noting that Turkey believes its businessmen could play a vital role in strengthening Tehran-Ankara relations.

As for the question of Tehran's nuclear program, the Turkish minister expressed Ankara's support for Tehran's absolute right to use nuclear technology peacefully.

He said Iran's nuclear case could be settled in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Referring to Iran-Turkey trade relations, the minister said the volume of Ankara's gas and oil imports from Tehran stood at three billion dollars.

He added broader economic relations and greater investments by the two sides will further safeguard their bilateral peace and security.

Gul encouraged Iranian and Turkish political officials to help bolster bilateral ties which will lead to expansion of economic ties.

Talking about Iraq, the Turkish minister said continuous meetings by the neighboring states of the war-torn country could help Baghdad overcome its existing problems.

Gul stressed any development in the region will influence all regional states.

... Payvand News - 12/2/05 ... --

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