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Iran trade woes internal, says Turkish President Abdullah GÃ¼l
BayBak, Azerbaijan | 830 days ago | Tuesday, 15th February , 2011 , 07:25 [am] | Azerbaijan
|.|| Iranian policy, not a U.S. embargo, is the biggest obstacle to expanding the Islamic republicâ€™s trade with other countries, Turkish businessmen accompanying President Abdullah GÃ¼l in Iran reported him as saying Monday.
With Iran and Turkey determined to boost their political and economic ties, more than 100 Turkish businessmen have accompanied the president on a visit to Iran that began
Iranian policy, not a U.S. embargo, is the biggest obstacle to expanding the Islamic republicâ€™s trade with other countries, Turkish businessmen accompanying President Abdullah GÃ¼l in Iran reported him as saying Monday.
With Iran and Turkey determined to boost their political and economic ties, more than 100 Turkish businessmen have accompanied the president on a visit to Iran that began Sunday evening and is scheduled to last until Wednesday. Turkey aims to increase its trade with Iran from $10 billion to $30 billion, GÃ¼l said without giving a timeframe.
The Turkish president told a joint press conference Monday with his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that the two countries held detailed discussions on key issues of mutual interest and that important decisions have been made, Agence France-Presse reported.
â€œWe have decided to give orders to our respective parties to remove all obstaclesâ€ identified in the talks as hindering cooperation between Turkey and Iran, GÃ¼l said without elaborating. The president is heading a delegation of business leaders and ministers, including Foreign Minister Ahmet DavutoÄŸlu, on the four-day official visit.
GÃ¼l also urged governments in the Middle East to listen to the demands of their people, saying he hoped transformation processes would have an honorable and happy ending for all nations in the region, the Anatolia news agency reported.
â€œNowadays, we are witnessing major changes in our region, especially in the Middle East and the Islamic world,â€ GÃ¼l said, adding that countries should implement both political and economic reforms in line with their peoplesâ€™ requests.
Speaking at the same press conference, Ahmadinejad said Turkey and Iran shared similar views on regional peace, security and development, adding that cooperation between the two countries would transform the region into an economic, political and cultural power. â€œOur relations with Turkey are deep, permanent and brotherly, and they have made significant progress in many fields over the past years,â€ Ahmadinejad told reporters.
The Iranian president also took the public opportunity Monday to thank â€œthe Turkish president for his countryâ€™s position concerning Iranâ€™s nuclear rights.â€ He added that Iran and Turkey are determined to strengthen ties both politically and economically.
Turkey voted against the latest round of U.S.-backed sanctions imposed against Iran by the United Nations Security Council, saying diplomacy is the best way to ease international concerns about Iranâ€™s nuclear program.
Last month, Turkey hosted a second round of negotiations between Iran and world powers to peacefully settle the dispute over Tehranâ€™s nuclear program, but the meeting ended with the Western nations failing to persuade Iran to dispel fears of covert weapons activity by allowing increased International Atomic Energy Agency monitoring of its nuclear programs. The outcome left the U.N. agency short of the ability to apply all inspecting instruments it says it should have a right to employ.
Iranâ€™s enrichment program is of international interest because the process can create both nuclear fuel and fissile nuclear-warhead material. While Iran insists it wants to enrich uranium only to run a nuclear-reactor network, its nuclear secrecy, refusal to accept fuel from abroad and resistance to IAEA efforts to follow up on suspicions of covert experiments with components of a nuclear-weapons program have heightened concerns.
Turkey recently said it would not apply U.S. economic sanctions against Tehran, saying it would only respect measures passed by the U.N. Security Council.
Turkish banks are needlessly hindering trade with Iran through excessive caution in enforcing sanctions, Turkish businessmen told GÃ¼l, according to an emailed statement from Turkeyâ€™s Foreign Economic Relations Board, or DEÄ°K, Bloomberg reported.
â€œTurkish banks arenâ€™t providing support for us even in areas where U.S. prohibitions donâ€™t apply,â€ Mehmet Koca, general manager of GÃ¼bre Fabrikalari A.Åž., a fertilizer company that is Turkeyâ€™s largest investor in Iran, told GÃ¼l during an official visit to Iran, DEÄ°K said. â€œThereâ€™s a lot of business to be done even if we abide by the U.S. embargo.â€
In an interview carried by Iranâ€™s state news agency IRNA on Saturday, GÃ¼l said Turkey backs a negotiated settlement to the Islamic republicâ€™s nuclear issue. â€œIran is a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Thus, Iranâ€™s nuclear issue should be solved through negotiation and Turkey will continue to facilitate this,â€ he said.
Turkeyâ€™s improving ties with Iran, coupled with a deep crisis in its relations with longtime ally Israel, have sparked concern that NATOâ€™s sole Muslim-majority member is sliding away from the West. Ankara strongly denies any policy shift.hurriyet, Voice of a Nation