Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has extended his congratulations to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the victory of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the recent local elections in Turkey.

In a telephone conversation with Erdogan on Tuesday, the Iranian president said the Turkish people’s turnout in the country’s municipal elections was a victory for democracy in an important Muslim country.

The Turkish premier on Sunday declared victory for the ruling AKP in the country’s local elections, which are seen as a key test for Erdogan ahead of a presidential vote scheduled for August.

The official results of the Sunday elections have not been announced yet; however, according to Turkish reports, Erdogan’s AKP has won around 45 percent of the votes compared to the nearly 30 percent gained by rival the Republican People’s Party (CHP).

The Turkish opposition has, however, rejected the results of the votes in Ankara and Istanbul, saying there have been irregularities in these two mega cities.

In his phone conversation with Erdogan, the Iranian president further said that strengthening ties with the Muslim country of Turkey is among the priorities of the Islamic Republic’s foreign policy.

The Turkish prime minister, for his part, expressed gratitude to Rouhani for the congratulation, and felicitated the Iranian government and nation on the Islamic Republic Day.

On Tuesday, April 1, Iran marked the 35th anniversary of the historic referendum in which the nation overwhelmingly voted yes to the establishment of the Islamic Republic following the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

Erdogan further said the elections in Turkey were a response by the people of his country to the “groundless allegations” against his government.

Rouhani and Erdogan further called for the continuation of bilateral consultation on regional developments.

The Erdogan administration has been faced with mass protests, a corruption scandal and criticism for blocking certain websites over the past months, which mark the most turbulent period in his 11-year rule.

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