Iran, Türkiye to launch ‘serious’ talks on water shortages: FM

Tehran, IRNA – Iran and Türkiye have agreed to launch a new round of “more serious” talks to address challenges arising from shared water resources between the two neighboring countries, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has said.

Amirabdollahian made the remarks during a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart, Hakan Fidan, following their private discussions in Tehran on Sunday.

The Iranian foreign minister said they agreed that a joint technical committee be established in Tehran in the near future to discuss the scarcity of water resources.

“Today, in our discussions with Mr. Fidan, we underscored Türkiye’s serious attention to the issue of Aras River and ensured that there are no plans on Türkiye’s part to restrict access to water for our citizens in the western regions of the country,” he said.

Tehran has raised concerns that the extensive dam construction by Türkiye on the Aras River along the border with Iran will adversely affect the northwestern regions of Iran.

Shifting the focus to trade, Amirabdollahian said that Iran and Türkiye have set a target of achieving €30 billion in bilateral trade. “Our mutual target for bilateral trade stands at €30 billion, and we are well on track to achieving this goal,” he stated.

He added that both Iran and Türkiye are committed to following up on the agreements that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, struck when the latter visited Tehran last year.

Amirabdollahian also highlighted the complementary nature of transportation and transit routes between Iran and Turkey, emphasizing that these transit corridors are a catalyst for cooperation rather than competition.

Furthermore, Iran’s top diplomat stressed the need for increased consular interaction between the two nations due to the significant movement of citizens between Iran and Türkiye.

Amirabdollahian said that he and his Turkish counterpart also stressed the urgency of the Palestinian issue and agreed that the presence of the Zionist regime in the region has brought nothing but insecurity and instability for the regional countries.

On the Caucasus issue, both Iran and Turkiye agree that the era of tensions and conflicts has come to an end and now it is the time for cooperation, Amirabdollahian said, adding that “we welcome the talks between Yerevan and Baku and will not accept any geopolitical changes in the region and blocking of existing transit routes in the region.”

He also noted that he and his Turkish counterpart agreed about a format of Iran, Türkiye and Azerbaijan which was proposed by the Turkish foreign minister to help ensure peace and stability in the Caucasus region.

“We also exchanged views on Türkiye’s concerns over the Syrian borders and we believe that the concerns of Syria and Turkiye regarding issues such as terrorism and refugees should be resolved through diplomacy and dialogue.”

The Iranian foreign minister highlighted that Iran will make every effort to use the capacities of friendly ties with Türkiye and Syria and that of a quadrilateral format of Iran, Russia, Turkiye and Syria to lift the concern of Türkiye and maintain the territorial integrity of Syria.

He also said that a tripartite meeting of Tehran, Ankara and Riyadh is on the agenda to help boost trade exchanges between the three sides.

Turkish FM hails Iran’s positive role in helping Türkiye

Iranians and Turkish people live together in full peace, Fidan said, thanking Iran’s positive role in helping Turkiye in its recent earthquake.

He noted that during the Turkish earthquake, the two countries showed solidarity, and added that such social changes and crises make the two country’s ties more strengthened.

Referring to the 8th meeting of the Supreme Council of Iran-Turkiye Strategic Relations in the coming days, the top Turkish diplomat underlined that “In the near future, we will welcome the Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Turkiye.”

Iran and Turkiye are two powerful countries in the region which makes the two governments more responsible, he added.

In regards to Syria, he underlined “Our expectations from Syria and cooperation with Syria are completely clear. We want the Syrian citizens who are in our country as immigrants to be returned to their country in complete safety.”

Referring to the fighting against terrorism and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), he stated that Turkiye and Syria need to cooperate more. They also talked about Iraq and the cooperation in fighting terrorism and Islamophobia.

Given that there are deliberate attacks against Islamic values in Europe, the two sides exchanged views on this issue.

Expressing pleasure over resuming ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia, he highlighted that Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkiye are responsible countries in the region, adding that “we also discussed the JCPOA today and received the necessary information.”

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