TEHRAN (Iran News) – Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, at a meeting with visiting Turkmen President Serdar Berdimuhamedow, hailed the Iranian administration’s policy of expanding relations with neighbors as a good policy.
Accompanied by a delegation, Berdimuhamedow arrived in Tehran on Tuesday afternoon on an official two-day visit intended to sign long-term cooperation agreements with Iran.
President Ebrahim Raeisi officially welcomed the Turkmen president on Wednesday morning, after which the two chief executives oversaw the signing of nine memoranda of understanding (MoUs) to broaden bilateral cooperation in different fields.
After the signing ceremony, Berdimuhamedow met with Ayatollah Khamenei, who said the deepening of bilateral relations would benefit the two nations.
“The policy of the administration of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to expand relations with neighboring countries, and this is a completely correct policy,” the Leader noted.
He said a strong will is required on both sides to remove obstacles in the path of the expansion of bilateral ties.
“Of course, friendly relations between Iran and Turkmenistan have regional and international opponents, but nevertheless, the obstacles must be overcome,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
He added that a joint cooperation commission needs to be activated to finalize bilateral agreements through continuous follow-ups.
Berdimuhamedow, for his part, said his administration also focuses on developing ties with neighbors and strives to strengthen the good relations between Turkmenistan and Iran in various fields – especially gas, electricity, and transportation of goods, as well as the implementation of major projects – based on the agreement deals signed earlier in the day.
Referring to the 30th anniversary of Tehran-Ashgabat relations, the Turkmen president thanked Ayatollah Khamenei for his support for the deepening of Iran’s ties with Turkmenistan.
Earlier in the day, Iran and Turkmenistan signed a set of documents and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) to broaden bilateral cooperation in different fields.
President Ebrahim Raisi and his counterpart from Turkmenistan, Berdimuhamedow, presided over a ceremony in Tehran on Wednesday morning to sign the agreements.
Nine MoUs were signed in the meeting to boost cooperation in various fields, including politics, economy, trade, transportation, investment, new technologies, environment, sports, energy, judiciary, education, research, and tourism.
This is Berdimuhamedow’s first visit to Iran as Turkmenistan’s president. He traveled to Tehran in January as the special envoy of Turkmenistan’s former president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, and held talks with Raeisi.
Speaking at the Wednesday meeting, President Raisi expressed Iran’s strong will to sign strategic, long-term deals with Turkmenistan, saying there is great potential for Tehran-Ashgabat cooperation which should be tapped into.
He said his Turkmen counterpart’s visit to Iran can be a turning point in bilateral relations.
“My visit to Ashgabat a few months ago managed to activate cooperation between the two countries. Steps were taken in the fields of gas swap, transportation, and cooperation between the two countries,” the president added.
The expansion of bilateral cooperation will definitely lead to better regional and international developments, he said.
“The relationship between Iran and Turkmenistan is not just a neighborly relationship, but a relationship of brotherhood, civilization, and culture. In other words, it is a relationship of kinship, and this deep relationship between the two countries can provide the basis for greater cooperation between the two countries,” he noted.
Raisi said he thinks the two countries should deepen and upgrade their cooperation in fields related to economy, trade, water, electricity, and gas.
He thanked former Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow for taking good steps in deepening the bilateral relations, expressing hope that his successor would also take effective steps to that end.
The Iranian president also said foreign presence in West Asia will not bring security and stability to the region.
According to Raisi, Tehran and Ashgabat share similar views on the situation in their mutual neighbor Afghanistan.
“We believe that in Afghanistan, there should be an inclusive government representing all political parties and ethnic groups,” he said.
“Regional issues must be resolved by regional officials, and any presence of foreigners may cause problems,” Raisi said. “We believe that the presence of foreigners in the region will hinder security and create problems.”
The Turkmen president, for his part, urged close cooperation with Tehran on issues such as the Caspian Sea legal regime.
He also called for enhancing relations with Iran in international bodies.