Davutoglu: Lifting sanctions on Iran opens new opportunities for Turkey (UPDATE)
Details added (first version posted on 13:27)
Baku, Azerbaijan, March 5
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Removal of sanctions on Iran opens up new opportunities for Turkey, said Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the TRT Haber news channel reported March 5.
Davutoglu made the remarks in Tehran during a joint press conference with Eshaq Jahangiri, Iran's first vice president.
He said that Turkey always supported Iran in the period of sanctions.
"Despite a number of differences between Iran and Turkey, our peoples have much in common," said the prime minister.
"Iran is Turkey's gateway to Asia, and Turkey is Iran's gateway to Europe," added Davutoglu.
Davutoglu, heading a high-ranking delegation, arrived in Tehran's Mehrabad Airport March 4, where he was welcomed by Iran's ICT Minister Mahmoud Vaezi.
Davutoglu is accompanied by ministers of economy, customs and trade, energy, transport, communications and development, government officials and representatives of major Turkish media.
Turkish prime minister, during his two-day visit to Iran, is scheduled to negotiate and meet with senior Iranian officials, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and President Hassan Rouhani.
Following Davutoglu's visit to Iran, the upcoming visits by Foreign Minister Zarif and President Rouhani to Turkey are also on the schedule.
Turkish prime minister also said that energy issues were discussed during his meeting with Jahangiri.
"Iran is an important gas supplier and Turkey is an important market," said Davutoglu.
Tehran and Ankara intend to increase their trade volume to $30 billion. The two states have signed a preferential trade agreement that could pave the way for a rise in the bilateral trade. The two countries' trade turnover stood at $13.7 billion in 2014, according to the data released by the Turkish Statistical 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.
Turkey and Iran also have significant potential to withstand the growing radicalism in the region, Davutoglu further said.
"Iran and Turkey should prevent external interference in the region," he added.
He also noted that the Iranian-Turkish cooperation is for the benefit of the entire region.
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