Iran never to accept restrictions on regional transit routes

The Iranian foreign minister said Sunday that Iran will not accept any blocking of the transit routes in the region, stressing further strengthening of trade ties with Turkey.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian held a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Hakan Fidan in Tehran on Sunday.

In the news conference, the Iranian minister said that, "in today's meeting, detailed but fruitful discussions were held between the two countries delegations about all aspects of bilateral cooperation."

"The target volume of trade between the two countries is 30 billion euros, now we are halfway there. Recently, the deputy [Iranian] foreign minister for economic diplomacy made a trip to Ankara and there were good agreements in the economic field between the two countries," the top Iranian diplomat added.

"In the field of transportation and transit, we agree that the transit routes in the region are complementary routes between the two countries, and the routes are not a factor for competition, instead they are a factor of complementing the cooperation between Iran and Turkey," Amir-Abdollahian said.

"Tomorrow, after five years, the meeting of the committee for the transfer of convicts will be held jointly in Ankara," he further said.

The Iranian minister further said that, "We highlighted the issue of water and the problems of droughts and the sensitivities that have emerged there and we agree that the technical committee formed last year will visit Iran in the near future and hold a new round of talks [in Tehran]. The fair share of Aras River water should be done in full by taking into account customary and environmental water rights from the downstream sources of Aras."

"We talked about regional issues. The first issue is that in the field of the Islamic world, both sides took more active measures to counter Islamophobia and prevent desecration of the holy books and the Holy Quran, and stressed focusing on the issue of Palestine and the Quds issue as a priority for Islamic countries and countries in the region. We emphasized that the presence of the Zionist regime in the region has yielded no result but sedition and division between the countries in the region," the Iranian diplomat said.

As regards the Caucasus region, Amir-Abdollahian said, "The time has come to leave behind a period of tension and conflict and move forward to a period of peace and cooperation in the Caucasus. Good agreements were made with [President] Ilham Aliyev. We support the agreements and dialogues between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and we will never accept any geopolitical changes in the region and limiting the existing historical transit routes in the region."

"We believe that the concerns of Turkey and Syria should be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue, and issues related to terrorism, border security, and refugees should be addressed through cooperation between the two countries," he added.

"Given the capabilities of having a friendly relationship with the two countries and the quadrilateral meeting, Iran continues its constructive efforts to resolve the concerns of the brothern in Turkey and also in the framework of respecting the territorial integrity of Syria," he added.

"I witnessed bringing up constructive ideas from Fidan regarding the common border and the fight against terrorism and the necessity of the return of Syrian refugees," the Iranian minister also said.

"I talked with Fidan about the situation in Ukraine, Afghanistan and the tripartite formats that can be formed after the normalization of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and both sides are in agreement about the formation of a tripartite meeting between Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, focusing on economic cooperation and business and investment, in the future," he added.

The top Iranian diplomat further said that, "We agree on Mr. Hakan Fidan's proposal regarding the resumption of the format comprising Iran, Azerbaijan and Turkey with the aim of stronger cooperation to establish peace and stability in the Caucasus."

In response to a question about the droughts and water rights from the shared river, Amir-Abdollahian further said, "We have agreed on the formation of a joint technical committee in the water sector since last year, and last year a delegation from Iran visited Turkey and good agreements were reached."

"Today, in a conversation with my Turkish counterpart, we talked about the continuation of these talks and Turkey's serious attention to the Aras River issue and the issue of complete, accurate, customary and conventional transfer [of water] that has been carried out over many years to areas in the northwest of Iran in water basins originating in Turkey."

Amir-Abdollahian added, "The Foreign Minister of Turkey stated that there will be no plan in Turkey to deny or restrict the access of three provinces located in the northwest of our country from the upstream areas in Turkey."

News ID 196000


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