Iran's Rouhani to make official visit to Turkey upon Erdoğan's invitation

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 18.12.2018 12:21
Updated 19.12.2018 10:31
emAP File Photo/em
AP File Photo

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will arrive in the Turkish capital Ankara on Wednesday for an official visit upon the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, according to a statement Tuesday by the Iranian Presidential Press Office.

Rouhani will be accompanied by high-level economic and political staff from his cabinet during the two-day visit.

Erdoğan and Rouhani will chair the Fifth High Council for Strategic Affairs, at which the two countries are expected to increase bilateral trade volume to $30 billion.

The two leaders are expected to sign important agreements in the fields of economy, politics and culture during the visit.

Erdoğan and Rouhani are also expected to discuss the latest developments in Syria, where the two countries support opposing sides in the seven-year-long civil war. Turkey backs the opposition to the regime of Bashar Assad, whereas Iran is one of the closest allies of the Syrian regime, in addition to Russia. All three countries are taking part in the peace talks known as the Astana talks and held numerous bilateral and trilateral meetings to end the fighting and launch a political process.

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Tuesday that he hopes for an agreement to be reached with Turkey and Russia the same day for Syria's new constitutional committee.

Rouhani met with Parliament Speaker Binali Yıldırım earlier this month, and expressed Iran's desire to further improve relations with Turkey and speed up implementation of an agreement to boost cooperation in numerous fields, including banking and energy topics, particularly trade under sanctions imposed by the U.S.

Iran has been seeking Turkey's support, in addition to other trading partners like the European Union, China and Russia, in taking measures against the sanctions reinstated by the Donald Trump administration on May 8 when he announced the withdrawal of his country from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.

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