Iran, Turkmenistan seek $10bn trade
Iran's Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar stresses the importance of enhanced ties with neighbors, saying Iran and Turkmenistan plan to increase the value of their trade exchanges to 10 billion dollars, Press TV.
"The expansion of ties with countries, particularly neighboring states, is among the priorities of Islamic Republic's foreign policy," Mohammad-Najjar told reporters in the Turkmenistan capital city of Ashgabat on Tuesday.
He pointed to more than 1,200 kilometers of common border between Iran and Turkmenistan and added that the two countries enjoy great potential to boost cooperation in the transportation, transit and energy sectors and raise the value of trade exchanges from 5 billion dollars to 10 billion dollars, IRNA reported.
He noted that Tehran has consolidated and improved relations with neighboring countries thanks to cultural and historical commonalties.
The minister emphasized that Tehran and Ashgabat have reached consensus on security, border, custom and consular cooperation as well as fighting organized crime and the smuggling of narcotics.
Mohammad-Najjar stated that in his meeting with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the two sides emphasized that border markets should further expand their activities.
The Iranian interior minister, heading a high-ranking delegation, arrived in Ashgabat on Tuesday on an official two-day visit upon an invitation by his Turkmen counterpart Isgender Mulikow.
Earlier on Tuesday, Mohammad-Najjar held talks with Berdimuhamedov and Mulikow on ways to promote Tehran-Ashgabat ties.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad earlier in June called for accelerating the implementation of bilateral infrastructure projects between Iran and Turkmenistan.
Referring to the construction of a joint railway among Iran, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan, Ahmadinejad said "this project should become operational as soon as possible and serve the welfare of the two nations and the regional nations."
The 1,000-kilometer railroad will shorten more than 600 kilometers of route for transporting goods from the Central Asia to the Persian Gulf, and will become one of the important international transportation links between China and Europe.