TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iranian and Turkish presidents in a meeting here on Sunday stressed that the two countries’ trade exchanges should be increased to $10 bln.
A report released by the Presidential Press Office said that during the meeting, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reminded that the religious, historical, cultural and emotional bonds between the two nations pave a desirable ground for non-restricted, all-out cooperation between Tehran and Ankara.
“On the same basis, both Iranian and Turkish officials are keen to further develop the existing mutual ties,” he continued.
Ahmadinejad further viewed the proposal of the Turkish Premier for boosting the two countries’ annual exchanges to $10 b as a viable and achievable goal, and stated, “Considering the agreements signed by the two governments for the expansion of mutual trade ties, Tehran and Ankara can play a complementary role and embark on joint ventures in other parts of the world, in addition to mutual investments in the different parts of the two countries.”
He said Iran enjoys the required potentials and capabilities to provide for the increasing energy needs of world countries, specially Europe’s growing demand for natural gas.
“Iran, as a reliable and suitable partner, is prepared to supply energy directly to the European market through cooperation with Turkey,” the Iranian president reiterated.
Also noting the two countries’ rich cultural heritages and lustrous civilizations, he described cultural tourism as a proper ground for mutual cooperation by Iran and Turkey, and further voiced Tehran’s readiness to transfer its valuable experiences in the different areas of industry, agriculture, modern technologies and medical sciences to Turkey.
For his part, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan appreciated the warm welcome extended to his delegation by Iranian officials, and assessed his first round of talks with Iran’s first Vice-President Parviz Dawoodi as excellent.
He stated that his visit to Tehran is mainly aimed at studying the accelerated international developments, specially the sensitive conditions of the region in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon, and the two countries’ responsibility for solving such problems as well as forming a process for speeding up enhancement of Iran-Turkey relations.
Erdogan described the 500-percent growth in the two countries’ trade exchanges in the last 4 years as illustrative of Tehran-Ankara warm relations, and added, “While the two sides decided in 2002 to boost their exchanges from $1.2 b to $5 b in the shortest possible period of time, we have now witnessed that the figure has exceeded $6 b, and thus we hope that Iran-Turkey trade exchanges will even touch the margin of $10 b in the near future.”
Pointing to Iran’s larger share of exports in the two countries’ trade exchanges, he called for bringing balance to the two states’ exports through paving the required grounds for Turkey’s investments in Iran.
The Turkish premier further described increased border exchanges, tourism, construction of hotels and investment in the oil and gas sector and energy exchange as proper grounds for the two countries’ cooperation.
He stated Turkey’s enthusiasm for purchasing Iran’s natural gas, and further strongly denied baseless rumors alleging Ankara’s retreat from its earlier decision for the purchase of Iran’s gas, specially considering Turkey’s growing energy needs.
To conclude his words, the Turkish Prime Minister expressed the hope that during his current visit or on the earliest occasion possible, the two countries would endorse a new agreement on the purchase of Iran’s natural gas.