Iran and Turkey have signed an agreement to broaden neighborly cooperation on security issues, emphasizing their determination to expand strategic ties and jointly fight terrorism and trafficking.
On Wednesday, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi of Iran met with his Turkish counterpart, Suleyman Soylu, in Tehran, where they signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
The MoU aims to increase and develop security cooperation between the two countries. It foresees the prevention of all kinds of terrorist and illegal acts concerning the two countries, especially in the border regions, and the mutual development of all kinds of law enforcement activities.
Later in the day, the two ministers briefed media on the content of their talks at a press conference.
Vahidi said they discussed ways to improve relations in all fields, including the fight against terrorism, international crimes, and arms and drug trafficking as well as cross-border exchanges and interactions.
Moreover, he said, “more general issues such as the destructive role of the US and the Zionist regime [Israel] in the region, the many problems they have caused for regional nations, [including] the problems they have created in Afghanistan, and the conspiracies they pursue in the region were also discussed.”
“The two countries are resolved to expand strategic relations and new horizons are opening for joint cooperation in all areas. This is a good start for deepening ties with Turkey,” Vahidi said.
“Iran-Turkey ties will speed up. The two states will together end regional stability and foil enemy plots. The two countries will not allow others to disrupt their relations,” Vahidi told the presser.
‘Iran, Turkey became one in border protection efforts’
The Turkish minister, for his part, said he held important talks in Tehran.
Soylu added that Iran and Turkey cooperate on the battle against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants and other terrorist groups and are determined to eradicate terrorism.
The PKK, designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union, took up arms against the Turkish state in 1984. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict, focused in southeast Turkey.
Pointing to the new influx of many Afghan refugees into Iran and Turkey, Soylu said the two countries are firm in fighting illegal immigration and added that Ankara would examine a proposal by Tehran to set up a joint working group in this regard.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency also quoted Soylu as saying in a statement following the meeting with his Iranian counterpart that many problems were solved.
He hailed relations between the two countries and said, “To date, we have had very successful cooperation on various issues.”
“We acted like members of a single country in our cooperation at the border, counter-terrorism efforts, fight against drug smuggling, and cross-border organized crime. Our collaboration is not diplomatic cooperation, it is a fraternity,” the Turkish interior minister added.
In a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in New York in September on the sidelines of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Tehran was ready to host sessions of a joint commission with Ankara, which have been delayed for some time.
During the meeting, the Iranian foreign minister stressed the importance of holding regular consultations between the two neighboring countries especially in light of the new developments in the region.