Iranian President Hassan Rohani is preparing to come to Turkey - his first official visit to the country since he took office - on Dec. 17 on the occasion of the Şeb-i Arus (Night of Reunion) ceremony, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Wednesday, Today`s Zaman reported.
After visiting Qatar and Bahrain, Davutoglu paid a two-day visit to Iran Nov. 26 and 27 to attend the 21st Meeting of the Council of Ministers (COM) of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and announced on his Twitter account on Wednesday that Turkey would host Iranian President Rohani in mid-December. After meeting with Rohani on the last day of his visit to Tehran, he said Turkey expects Rohani to attend the Şeb-i Arus ceremony, which commemorates the anniversary of the death of Sufi mystic and Islamic scholar Mevlana Jelaluddin Muhammad Rumi.
Davutoglu and the Iranian president first met during Rohani's inauguration ceremony on Aug. 4. Rohani also had talks with his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in late September.
During Davutoglu's visit, both sides expressed their will to boost economic relations between Turkey and Iran after a nuclear weapons deal was signed between Iran and the P5+1 countries - China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States plus Germany - earlier this week. The Syrian crisis was also on the agenda of Davutoglu's meetings in Tehran.
The Syrian crisis and economic relations between Turkey and Iran are also likely to be discussed during Rohani's visit as they were also on the agenda of Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif's Turkey visit. Davutoglu's visit to Tehran came after Zarif's one-day visit to Turkey in early November to attend the 60th Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs and possibly to prepare the groundwork for the Iranian president's upcoming visit. He met with top Turkish officials to discuss Turkish-Iranian bilateral ties and regional developments in the Middle East.
Though Turkey and Iran back different sides in Syria, they have mutual concerns on the reawakening of sectarianism in the region and have agreed to work together against sectarian threats. Both the Turkish and the Iranian foreign ministers on Wednesday called for a cease-fire in Syria before an international peace conference known as Geneva II takes place in January.