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Larijani: Turkey Valuable Friend of Iran

TEHRAN, Feb. 20, 2014 (FNA)- Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani in a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Cemil Cicek in Tehran on Wednesday said the Islamic Republic attaches much value to its relations with Ankara as a friend, and wants to bolster its ties and cooperation with the Muslim neighboring nation.

Larijani described Turkey as "a valuable friend and brother" for Iran, and said, "Exchanging views and cooperation in the (further) expansion of bilateral and regional relations is of paramount importance."

The Iranian parliament speaker said that the presence of the Turkish parliamentary delegation in the recent Tehran meeting of the OIC Inter-Parliamentary Union indicates the depth of friendship between the two Muslim neighboring countries, and said, "Turkey is one of the important and influential countries in the region and the two countries cooperation is of much importance for the settlement of the Muslim world problems."

The Turkish parliament speaker, for his part, praised Irans efforts to resolve the problems in the Muslim world, and said, "Irans presidency over the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) plays an influential role in the consolidation of unity among Muslims."

Cicek pointed to the current state of Iran-Turkey relations, and said, "Expansion of all-out relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran is an important principle in Turkeys foreign policy."

On Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a meeting with the Turkish parliament speaker stressed the age-old and close relations between Tehran and Ankara, and said the two countries are expanding their all-out ties.

"The relations with Turkey in the past months have been developing in different fields," Rouhani said during the meeting on the sidelines of the OICs IPU meeting in Tehran.

He also referred to the recent visit by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Tehran and the agreements inked by the two countries during the trip, and expressed the hope that the deals would help further improve the relations between the two Muslim neighboring nations.

Cicek, for his part, underscored the importance of the agreements signed during Erdogans visit to Tehran, and expressed the hope that the first meeting of the two countries High Political Council would be held during President Rouhanis future visit to Ankara.

He also called for Iran and Turkeys cooperation to settle the problems in the Muslim world.

Erdogan was in Tehran late January to discuss key bilateral and regional issues with senior Iranian officials. The Turkish premier held talks with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, President Rouhani and other Iranian officials during the two-day visit.


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