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Closer Tehran-Ankara cooperation secures Middle East peace, stability: Rouhani

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)
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (L) holds talks with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Turkish capital Ankara on April 16, 2016. (Photo by Anadolu news agency)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has underlined the need for promotion of cooperation between his country and neighboring Turkey in order to advance the long-term interests of the Middle East.

During a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday, Rouhani stated that the Islamic Republic of Iran is content with closer cooperation among Ankara, Tehran and Moscow to bring about peace in the region.

He expressed satisfaction over the Syrian ceasefire agreement brokered by Russia and Turkey, stressing that all should endeavor for the truce to withhold.

The Iranian president also pointed to the forthcoming negotiations between representatives from the Damascus government and foreign-sponsored opposition groups in the Kazakh capital city of Astana on January 23, saying, “We are all determined to fight all terrorist groups in the region. I hope relative stability prevails in Syria and the region through cooperation between Iran and Turkey.”

Rouhani then described terrorist groups as the common enemies of regional states and nations, and expressed "hope for the further expansion of bilateral relations and the resolution of major regional issues through mutual cooperation.”

He also offered his condolences to the Turkish president on the death of a number of Turkish citizens in recent terrorist attacks, and expressed optimism that in light of cooperation between the two governments, terrorism could be eliminated to assure more tranquility for the people in the region.

President Erdogan, for his part, extended his condolences on the passing of Chairman of Iranian Expediency Council and former President Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, describing him as a great statesman and a reputable politician, who endeavored for the establishment of regional peace and stability, and firm ties between Tehran and Ankara.

He also underlined that his country intends to develop cooperation with Iran in all fields, noting that stronger Turkey-Iran relations could effectively help the settlement of regional problems.

“Iran and Turkey shoulder a great responsibility in the region, so they should strengthen their mutual cooperation in a bid to ease regional tensions,” Erdogan pointed out.

Turning to the ceasefire in Syria and the upcoming inter-Syrian negotiations in Astana, the Turkish president said all should try to consolidate the foundations of the current ceasefire in Syria.

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