Wed May 24, 2017 04:47PM
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (L) and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands during an official welcoming ceremony at the presidential complex in Ankara, Turkey, on April 16, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (L) and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands during an official welcoming ceremony at the presidential complex in Ankara, Turkey, on April 16, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have expressed their countries’ readiness to shore up bilateral ties especially in the economic field.

During a telephone conversation on Wednesday, the two presidents said that Iran and Turkey were keen to open a new chapter in bilateral ties and take a leap in their economic cooperation.

“Over the past four years, big steps have been taken to develop and deepen Iran-Turkey ties, but a leap must be made … toward reaching an annual trade volume of $30 billion,” Rouhani told Erdogan.

The Iranian president also called for the further promotion of cooperation between the two neighboring countries in the banking sector.

He also underlined the need for an increase in interaction between Iran, Turkey and Russia on regional developments, including the reinforcement of the Astana talks between Syria’s warring sides, with the aim of contributing to peace and security in the region.    

For his part, Erdogan once again congratulated Rouhani on his re-election and voiced Turkey’s willingness to boost ties with Iran in all sectors.

Rouhani was re-elected as president with 57 percent of the votes in the country’s 12th presidential election, which was held on May 19.

Erdogan also reaffirmed Turkey’s determination to increase trade with Iran to $30 billion annually, saying Ankara saw no obstacle to the development of its cooperation with Tehran.

He also highlighted cooperation between Ankara, Moscow and Tehran to speed up the Astana talks aimed at facilitating a political solution to the Syrian crisis.  

Since March 2011, Syria has been gripped by militancy it blames on some Western states and their regional allies.

Several rounds of peace talks have been held in the Swiss city of Geneva and the Kazakh capital of Astana.

The Astana talks, brokered by Iran, Russia and Turkey, have sharply reduced fighting in the country. Iran and Russia are allies of the Syrian government while Turkey sides with the opposition.