Sunday, July 25, 2004

Iran, Turkey Call For Expansion Of Mutual, Regional Cooperation

Description of Selected News: "Iran, Turkey Call For Expansion Of Mutual, Regional Cooperation


TEHRAN (IRNA) -- New Turkish Ambassador to Tehran Halit Bozkur Aran conferred here Sunday with the Chairman of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on expansion of mutual and regional cooperation.

According to the Public Relations Department of the Expediency Council, at the meeting, Rafsanjani highlighted regional developments as well as the current crisis in Iraq and said the countries of the region should exercise vigilance to prevent emergence of any unexpected situation in Iraq.

Describing mutual, regional and international cooperation as very significant, he called for collective cooperation among Iraq's neighboring countries to support the country's independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty.

The decision of Turkey not to let its soil be used for attacks on Iraq should be considered as a positive move, he said adding that if such a decision had not been taken this would have inflicted irreparable damage on relations between Ankara and the Iraqi people.

Referring to ample historical, cultural, religious and geographical commonalties between Iran and Turkey, he called for further expansion of mutual relations as well as utilization of untapped potentials of the two sides.

Pointing to the economic investments made by the two countries such as the contract for import of gas to Turkey and its transit to Europe, he hoped to witness further expansion of mutual ties thanks to the efforts of the two sides' officials.

The new Turkish ambassador, for his part, briefed Rafsanjani on the latest political and economic developments between Iran and Turkey, and expressed the hope that the current ties between Tehran and Ankara would lead to further expansion of bilateral cooperation.

Referring to the issue of Iraq, he said Turkey and the Islamic Republic of Iran share common concerns about Iraq and the two countries are to adopt a common stands and policies to deal with regional and international issues.

Lack of people's sovereignty in Iraq will create numerous problems for the region in the future because the foreign countries will leave the country sooner or later and this is the regional countries that should try to solve the dilemma, he said. Referring to the investment made by Turkish companies in Iran, he said "We are now witnessing promotion of economic ties between the two countries and hope the current barriers will be lifted as soon as possible.""

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