Iranian press: Erdoğan’s visit to Tehran postponed

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to Iran, which was scheduled to take place in January, has been postponed to late February, according to Iranian media outlets quoting the Fars news agency.

Last month, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in a press conference during a visit to Tehran that Erdoğan’s visit to Iran was scheduled in early 2015 with the aim of strengthening bilateral relations.

The statements by Turkey’s foreign minister came after a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Muhammad Jawad Zarif. Çavuşoğlu said President Erdoğan’s visit in early 2015 will come as part of the second Turkey-Iran High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting.

Erdoğan, prime minister at the time, visited Tehran in January of last year to enhance bilateral relations and meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for the first time. During his visit, Erdoğan referred to Iran as his “second home.” Turkey and Iran agreed to establish a Turkey-Iran High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council during Erdoğan’s visit.

The first Turkey-Iran High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council meeting was headed by Rohani and Erdoğan during Rouhani’s visit to Turkey in June.

Turkey and Iran have supported opposing sides during the Syrian civil war. Tehran is known to be the closest regional ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, while Turkey seeks the removal of the Assad regime.

The US has been pushing Turkey to contribute more to a US-led campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Unlike Turkey, the US does not consider Assad to be a priority and thinks the coalition forces should tackle the immediate threat of ISIL.

But, despite disagreements on Syria, the two countries have maintained strong trade ties. During Erdoğan’s visit to Iran in January, a preferential trade agreement was signed aimed at paving the way to boost trade to $30 billion by 2015. In addition, Rohani said in June that the flow of investment between the two countries will continue, adding that the improvement of economic ties would not only benefit Turkey and Iran but also the region.

By Today’s Zaman

 

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