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Iran, Turkey must up anti-terror efforts: President Rouhani

Report by Press TV; photos by Islamic Republic News Agency

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Iran and Turkey have minor differences on certain regional issues but must boost cooperation in the campaign against terrorism.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (L) shakes hands with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, on April 16, 2016.

“Such minor differences of opinion are also natural and we are ready for more consultations, particularly for the fight against terrorism and correct presentation of Islam to the world,” Rouhani told reporters in Ankara on Saturday after he and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan oversaw the signature of eight documents for cooperation.

He added that Iran and Turkey should make efforts to improve stability and security in the region as a religious duty which would serve the interests of the two countries and those of the Muslim world.

He said Tehran and Ankara see eye to eye on some issues including opposition to the disintegration of any country and foreign intervention in the internal affairs of regional states, the necessity for putting an end to war and bloodshed in the region, fighting all types of terrorism in a decisive and firm fashion and the determination of every country’s future by its own nation.

He emphasized that Islamophobia is a Zionist plot and said Iran and Turkey must counter the move by introducing the real and actual Islam to the world.

Enhanced Iran-Turkey relations

Rouhani also said Iran and Turkey must increase the value of their trade ties to the set target of 30 billion dollars given their common history, culture and interests.

“The two countries are determined to bolster their relations in all fields,” the Iranian president said, describing the two countries’ economies as complementary.

He said sanctions against Iran and a shaky global economy have impeded the expansion of economic cooperation over recent years and urged Tehran and Ankara to remove the obstacles in the way of their relations as soon as possible.

Pointing to bilateral cooperation in the energy sector, Rouhani said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran assures Turkey that it can provide this country’s energy security in the fields of oil, gas, electricity and petrochemical products.”

The Iranian president added that the negotiations between him and Erdogan focused on promoting the role of women in the Islamic community, combating extremism, violence and terrorism, and promoting unity in the Muslim world and bridging the gap between Muslim faiths.

OIC objectives

Rouhani said the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) must follow two key objectives, namely unity in the world of Islam and the realization of the rights of Palestinians, adding that Iran will stand by the Muslim body as long as it maintains these two issues as its main goals.

The Iranian president attended the 13th OIC summit in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Thursday and Friday.

The Iranian president met Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara on Friday. The two sides stressed the importance of fighting terrorism as a common threat to all regional countries and the entire world.

Call for better ties

During the ceremony, Erdogan expressed displeasure with the decline in economic relations between Tehran and Ankara over the past few years, saying the level of trade between the two countries once stood at $22 billion but had fallen to below $11 billion dollars. The Turkish president stressed the target of $30 billion dollars for the exchange volume.

He said there are some limitations in the relations between Tehran and Ankara, adding that those restrictions must be removed.

The Turkish president added that terrorism and sectarianism are the biggest challenges in the region.

Erdogan added that there are some differences of opinion between Iran and Turkey on regional issues, adding, however, that the two sides seek an end to the bloodshed in Iraq and Syria.

Earlier on Saturday, Rouhani and Erdogan met and co-chaired the high-level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting following bilateral talks.

The Iranian president met Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara on Friday. The two sides stressed the importance of fighting terrorism as a common threat to all regional countries and the entire world.

... Payvand News - 04/16/16 ... --

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