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04/05/15

Turkish President To Press Ahead With Iran Visit

Source: RFE/RL

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan will visit Tehran in the coming days for a series of high-level meetings.


Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan
(cartoon by Mohammad Tahani, Arman daily)

Reuters news agency reports the visit, set for April 7, comes in spite of recent tensions between the two countries. Some Iranian lawmakers had called for the visit to be cancelled after Erdogan publicly backed a Saudi-led military operation against Iran-allied Huthi rebels in Yemen.

The two countries have strong economic ties, and Iran is Turkey's second-largest supplier of natural gas. Diplomatic relations have suffered in recent years, however, over disagreements over how to resolve the civil war in neighboring Syria.

According to a statement posted on the Turkish presidential website, Erdogan will be accompanied by a delegation of top ministers. He will meet with both Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"During the visit, bilateral relations will be addressed in all their dimensions, and there will also be an exchange of views on regional and international issues," the presidential statement said.

Iran-Turkey-map

The visit comes on the heels of a framework nuclear agreement between Iran and major powers that promises to re-open the Iranian market to foreign investors as international sanctions designed to punish the country for its contested nuclear program are lifted.

Meantime, Mehdi Hosseini, an official with the Iranian Oil Ministry, is quoted on April 5 as saying companies from the United States and Europe will be able to invest in various industrial projects in Iran, including those in the oil sphere.

He told Iran's official news agency, IRNA, that Iran will present conditions for new oil contracts for foreign investors in London in September.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP


Copyright (c) 2015 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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