Iranian, Turkish FMs Discuss Regional, Int’l Issues in Pakistan
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian and Turkish foreign ministers conferred on the regional and international developments during a meeting held on the sidelines of the ministerial meeting of the Group of Eight Developing Countries (D-8) in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Thursday.
Mohammad Javad Zarif said he had exchanged views over Tehran-Ankara ties, multilateral issues and the ongoing developments in the Muslim world, including the crisis in Syria, during talks with the Turkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu.
He added that the upcoming visit by senior Turkish officials to Tehran and the visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Turkey were also discussed during the meeting.
Following his meeting with Zarif, Turkey's chief diplomat said: “Turkey enjoys very good and brotherly relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, and we intend to further enhance our interactions in the future.”
The Developing Eight (D-8) is a group of developing countries with large Muslim populations that have formed an economic development alliance. It consists of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey.
Late in November, Iranian Parliament Speaker and Davutoglu had underlined the necessity for the further expansion of relations between Tehran and Ankara, specially in economic fields.
In a visit held here in Tehran, Davutoglu said given close cooperation between both countries, the annual trade volume must reach one hundred billion dollars within a period of five years.
Iran and Turkey have ample potentials and opportunities for expansion of relations and broadening of cooperation, the Turkish minister said, "We should work together to increase our annual trade volume to $100 billion by the next five years."
The Turkish foreign minister also said he had “very constructive and useful” talks with the Iranian officials during his visit to Tehran, and stressed that given the rapid trend of developments in the region, regular and continuous consultations among the two countries' officials are necessary.
“The two countries share views on many regional and Islamic world issues and greater proximity between the two countries is possible through more consultations and negotiations,” he said.
Iran, which owns the world’s largest natural gas reserves, is Turkey’s second biggest gas supplier after Russia. Turkey uses a significant portion of its imported Iranian natural gas to generate electricity.
The volume of Iran-Turkey annual trade exchanges reached roughly USD16 billion in 2011, and soared past USD22 billion by the end of 2012.