Turkey wishes to promote regional peace with Iran: PM
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said here on Thursday that Turkey and Iran could launch joint initiatives for regional peace, stability and welfare, Xinhua reported.
The Turkish premier made the statement while addressing Turkish- Iranian Business Forum at Istanbul's Ceylan Intercontinental Hotel.
Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi also attended the forum.
Erdogan said that Turkey and Iran, two countries situated close to problematic regions like Middle East and the Caucasus, maintained their existence as elements of peace and stability despite those problems and areas of conflicts.
"I think that there are initiatives we can launch together to ensure welfare, peace, stability and confidence in the entire region," Erdogan added.
He said: "As we are Iran's door opening to Europe, Iran is our gate opening to Asia."
Erdogan said geographical closeness offered unique opportunities to Turkey and Iran to boost their commercial and economic relations.
Turkey and Iran, two countries with many common goals and features, should be in more cooperation and solidarity, he said.
According to Turkish State Minister for Foreign Trade Zafer Caglayan, the trade volume between Turkey and Iran was up 86 percent in the first seven months of 2010.
"It seems that we will reach the trade volume we had before the 2009 global crisis in 2011," Caglayan said, the trade volume was 2. 3 billion U.S. dollars in 2002, and it reached 11 billion dollars in 2008.
Turkey's exports to Iran was up 40 percent, but Turkey had only 2 billion dollars of share in Iran's 68.5 billion dollars imports in 2008.