TURKEY

Tehran eyeing ‘new era’ in ties with Turkey

TEHRAN EYEING ‘NEW ERA’ IN TIES WITH TURKEY

Musa Reza Serveti, a legal adviser for the office of Iranian Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani, said Monday that Iranian-Turkish relations were set to enter a "new era" following the recent visit to Tehran by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Army Chief-of-Staff Hulusi Akar.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Serveti described the visit as a "milestone", voicing optimism that ties between the two neighbors were about to enter "the next level".

Asserting that "several steps" still had to be taken before relations could be stepped up, he went on to mention a number of policy changes -- both economic and commercial -- that were planned by Tehran.

Emphasizing the importance of "mutual trust", he said both countries hoped to eventually raise their total annual bilateral trade volume to $30 billion.

"Border crossings should operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week," he said. "And [bilateral] trade activity should be carried out in national [i.e., Iranian and Turkish] currency."

Ahmed Alirizabeygi, head of the Turkey-Iran Parliamentary Friendship Group, told Anadolu Agency that the resolution of longstanding regional problems would contribute to the improvement of bilateral ties.

"Both countries have taken important steps, politically and militarily, to resolve regional problems, which will ultimately lead to improved relations," he said.

"Our Turkish counterparts, led by [Turkish MP] Yusuf Beyazit, will pay an official visit to Tehran from Oct. 15 to 20, during which we will discuss how political ties can be further developed," Alirizabeygi added.

Muhammed Ali Destmali, an Iranian political analyst, told Anadolu Agency that the Syria conflict -- in which Turkey and Iran support opposing sides -- should not overshadow relations between the two neighbors.

Stating that the Syria crisis had negatively affected Turkish-Iranian ties, he said: "The problem in Syria should be resolved with a view to developing relations further."

"As long as Syria remains an issue," he added, "Iran-Turkey military cooperation could contribute to the region's stabilization."

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