Turkish president to visit Tehran next week despite disagreements
Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 5
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Tehran on April 7, despite severe protests from Iranian conservative lawmakers who argued the foreign ministry to cancel the visit over his statements accusing Iran of seeking to create a Shia-dominated hegemony in the Middle East.
The visit will take place at the invitation of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
While heading a high-ranking delegation, including a number of the Turkish ministers, President Erdogan will meet with senior Iranian officials including his counterpart Rouhani and Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said a joint statement issued in Tehran and Ankara on the eve of the visit.
The parties are planned to exchange the views on issues of mutual interests, as well as latest regional and global developments.
The second meeting of the High Level Cooperation Council between the two countries will be also held during President Erdogan's visit, according to the statement published by the Iranian president's official website.
The first meeting of the council was held in Ankara in June 2014 when President Rouhani visited Turkey.
Earlier President Erdogan said he will not cancel his visit Tehran. He added that despite some governmental officials in Iran opposing his visit, their stance doesn't reflect Tehran's official position on the matter.
Tehran and Ankara intend to increase their trade volume to $30 billion in the current year. The two states have signed a preferential trade agreement that could pave the way for a hike in bilateral trade. The two countries' trade turnover stood at $13.7 billion in 2014, according to the data released by the Turkish Statistics Institute.
The trade turnover between Turkey and Iran stood at $22 billion in 2012 before dipping to $14.5 billion in the following year due to the economic sanctions imposed on Tehran by the West.
The two sides are determined not to allow the political tensions to affect the economic goals.
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