TEHRAN (Iran News) – President Hassan Rouhani expressed Iran’s determination to enhance friendly relations with Turkey, Iraq, and Azerbaijan as he talked with his counterparts in separate phone calls.
In a Friday telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Rouhani said the friendly and neighboring countries like Iran and Turkey should further boost their cooperation at a time when the US has targeted the Iranian nation with oppressive sanctions.
The president hailed Tehran-Ankara ties, especially in the economic and trade sectors, adding, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to develop friendly and brotherly bonds and cooperation with Turkey in all fields.”
Referring to some issues and problems gripping the region, Rouhani expressed hope that stability and peace would prevail through cooperation among all regional states.
Rouhani said he hopes that Iran and Turkey would continue to work together and share experiences concerning the fight against the coronavirus as they have done so far.
Erdogan praised the Iranian government and people for making successful efforts to counter the coronavirus, stressing the need for reinforcing bilateral cooperation and transferring experiences in this regard.
Iran-Turkey economic relations should develop and their trade exchanges should accelerate in accordance with the coronavirus-related health protocols, Erdogan said, voicing hope that a meeting of the Supreme Council for Strategic Cooperation between the two countries would be held in the near future.
In a separate phone call on Friday, Rouhani spoke with his Iraqi counterpart, Barham Salih.
During the conversation, the Iranian president commended “a deep relationship” established throughout history between the two nations.
Rouhani expressed hope that the coronavirus pandemic would rein in so that the Iraqi and Iranian people and officials will be able to have more contacts.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s recent visit to Iran was a positive move that provided an opportunity to discuss issues of mutual interest, he noted.
“We hope that bilateral decisions and agreements would be implemented as soon as possible with the attempts of both countries’ officials and that we can further broaden economic relations and trade exchanges,” Rouhani said.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to develop all-out ties with Iraq and is ready to cooperate and share its experience with the country in the path of the fight against the coronavirus.”
Salih said he hopes that unity and cooperation among all regional countries will develop during the coronavirus outbreak.
He appreciated Iran for helping Iraq with the virus battle and emphasized the need for joint efforts to bolster relations and implement deals.
Enhancing cooperation with Iran is an inviolable principle of Iraq’s foreign policy, Salih added.
Iran, Azerbaijan railroad
Rouhani also talked with President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan. The two presidents stressed the need for the immediate completion of a railroad project that links Iran’s Rasht to the border city of Astara in Azerbaijan.
Rouhani also expressed Iran’s readiness to share its experiences and promote cooperation with Azerbaijan in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
He further stressed the need to maintain trade exchanges between the two neighbors in compliance with the health protocols.
Aliyev hailed the positive trend in the bilateral relations with Iran, saying Baku and Tehran will certainly take steps in broadening ties in the coming months.
“The Rasht-Astara railroad project is highly significant for the Republic of Azerbaijan, and we will try to remove the obstacles and problems to complete the project immediately,” the Azerbaijani leader added.
The budget for the completion of Rasht-Astara railroad project is estimated at $1.1 billion, part of which has been supplied by the $500 million loans from Azerbaijani banks.
When finished, the Rasht-Astara section will connect the rail networks of Iran and Azerbaijan through the border city of Astara.
The entire project constitutes part of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).
The corridor is a multipurpose route for the transit of goods between Iran, Russia, Europe, India, and Central Asia via shipping lines, railroads, and land routes.
Press TV and Tasnim contributed to this story.
- source : Iran Daily, Irannews