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Iran, Turkey influential in future Muslim world: Leader's aide

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Ali Akbar Velayati (R), a senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, and the Turkish Ambassador to Tehran Riza Hakan Tekin meet on July 31, 2016. © IRNA

A senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has reiterated the importance of the commonalities between Iran and Turkey, saying the two countries are capable of playing a leading role in shaping the future of the Muslim world.

“Iran and Turkey are two very important countries among Islamic states and can influence the future of the Muslim world,” the Leader’s aide on international affairs, Ali Akbar Velayati, said in a meeting with the Turkish Ambassador to Tehran Riza Hakan Tekin on Sunday.

He hailed the Turkish people’s success in thwarting the recent military coup in the country and countering efforts to break the nation’s resolve and resistance, while highlighting Iran's support for the Turkish government and nation against the coup plotters.

At least 246 people were killed and more than 2,100 others sustained injuries when a faction of Turkey's army, using hijacked helicopters and tanks, clashed with government troops and people on the streets of the capital, Ankara, and the city of Istanbul on July 15.

Supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wave their country’s flags during a rally at Kizilay Square in Ankara on July 20, 2016, following the failed military coup attempt of July 15. © AFP

A day after the coup bid was declared foiled and over, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused US-based opposition cleric, Fethullah Gulen, of being behind the coup attempt. The opposition figure has, however, denied any role in the foiled putsch.

Velayati further urged Tehran and Ankara to tap into their common interests to strengthen cooperation in all fields.

“Some differences of opinion and views between the two sides will not deflect our attention away from the existing commonalities. This issue is very important for the expansion of relations between the two countries,” Velayati said.

The Turkish ambassador, for his part, said Ankara praises Tehran's stance on the sad events during the military coup.

He added that relations between Tehran and Ankara have reached their highest level over the past 10 years.

During a meeting with his Turkish counterpart in Ankara in April, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran and Turkey have minor differences on certain regional issues but must boost cooperation in the campaign against terrorism.

“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 said.

He added that Iran and Turkey must increase the volume of their trade ties to the set target of USD 30 billion given their common history, culture and interests.

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