News / Middle East

Iran's Rouhani in Turkey to Strengthen Regional Ties

Turkey's President Abdullah Gul, right, and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani speak as they walk together during a ceremony at the Cankaya Palace in Ankara, Turkey, June 9, 2014.
Turkey's President Abdullah Gul, right, and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani speak as they walk together during a ceremony at the Cankaya Palace in Ankara, Turkey, June 9, 2014.
Dorian Jones
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has begun a two-day visit to Turkey that will focus on developing bilateral trade and regional cooperation.

Rouhani’s visit is the first Iranian state visit to Turkey in 18 years.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul, speaking at a joint news conference, described the visit of his Iranian counterpart as historic, and said he and Rouhani had committed themselves to improving relations, which have been strained over developments in Syria.
 
Gul said the visit furthers their countries' bilateral relations and that he and Rouhani had expressed their "common will" during the meeting.

Gul said they had agreed on several cultural and economic deals.

Rouhani described Turkey as one of the most important countries in the region and said improving relations with neighbors was a priority of his presidency.

Rouhani said he and Gul discussed Syria and Egypt, and how Iranian-Turkish cooperation could help stop the bloodshed in the region, according to the French news agency AFP.

"What's important to us is for the two countries to reach stability and security, that the people's vote are determining, and an end to the war, bloodshed and killings between brothers," he said according to AFP.

Strained over Syria

Turkish-Iranian relations have been strained over Syria, with the two countries strongly supporting opposite sides in the conflict.

In addition, Ankara has strained ties with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, an ally of Tehran.  

But improving trade is predicted to be a focus of Rouhani’s visit - specifically, working toward achieving the goal of doubling bilateral trade to $30 billion by 2015.

That goal was set during Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Tehran in January.

Iran is a major supplier of natural gas to Turkey, but, according to Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, a pricing dispute is holding back expansion of trade.

A senior Turkish official told Reuters news agency that Ankara will repeat its demand for a discount on the price of natural gas from Iran, which Ankara says is too expensive compared with other suppliers like Russia and Azerbaijan.

Iran has so far dismissed Turkish demands it drop the price of gas under the current agreement, according to Reuters.

Gul and Rouhani are also expected to discuss Iran’s controversial nuclear energy program and its ongoing talks with the international community.

Turkey has defended Iran's right to develop a peaceful nuclear technology program, but it adamantly opposes any development of nuclear weapons, fearing it would lead to an arms race in the Middle East.
 
"We don't want any country in our region to possess nuclear weapons. We maintain our desire for a Middle East cleared of weapons of mass destruction," Gul said in an AFP report.

Ankara sees the success of the nuclear program talks and an end to international sanctions against Iran as key to expanding trade with Tehran.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More