World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan left Iran on Wednesday after finalizing official talks in the country and signing a joint political declaration on establishing a high level cooperation council with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani.
During his two-day visit to Iran's capital Tehran, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey is looking to increase its trade volume with Iran following a sanction-restricted year.
"I hope 2014 will be a milestone year for both countries and that we reach a $30 billion trade volume by the end of 2015." Erdogan said, in a joint press conference with Iranian First Vice President, Eshaq Jahangiri, on Wednesday.
Erdogan's visit to Iran's Foreign Policy Institute was cancelled due to a possible of delay in meeting Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Erdogan met Khamenei for roughly an hour at his residence.
The Turkish Prime Minister was accompanied by his spouse, Emine Erdogan and a delegation including: Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, Development Minister Cevdet Yilmaz, Culture Minister Omer Celik, and Anadolu Agency's Director General Kemal Ozturk.
Turkey says still to reach gas price agreement with Iran
Turkey has not signed an agreement with Iran regarding natural gas prices, but negotiations are continuing.
Turkey's Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz said on Thursday that the arbitration process is still going on.
“Turkey will not accept any price higher than international market prices,” Yildiz said.
He said that Iran’s proposal is not acceptable.
"We expect lover prices from them. If there is a good agreeable price level for gas there won't be any reason for the arbitration process.”
Iran and Turkey have been in discussion for months, with Turkey demanding lower prices.
'Turkey and Iran need each other'
“Turkey and Iran need each other, as Turkey needs energy from Iran while Iran is trying to extend its energy market." Turkish economist, Harun Ozturkler from Kirikkale University said.
"A nuclear deal between Iran and world powers seems to be moving on the right path and every country revises their position accordingly.” Ozturkler added.
Ozturkler said there has been an influx of western businessmen seeking new investment opportunities into Iran, and added, "Turkey has the potential to guide this new process as Iran’s gateway to west.”
Bilateral economic relations strengthening
Mehmet Sahin, a Turkish international relations expert at Gazi University, said that Turkey and Iran seek to boost bilateral economic relations, rather than focusing on regional issues, where two sides have a different stance - mainly concerning Iraq and Syria.
“If the nuclear deal process between Tehran and world powers continues in a positive way, Iran will emerge as a huge market. Erdogan’s recent visit can be seen as an effort to prepare a substructure for the new era.” Sahin said.
Sahin argues that the two countries are not on the same page, and are not likely to reach an agreement regarding Syria and Iraq in a short term: “Turkey probably will focus on the economic relations, as it does with Russia despite their different approach on the regional issues.”
More investments on the way
Bayram Sinkaya, a Turkish academic specializing in Iran and the Middle East, said that Iran is rationalizing its relations with the rest of the world after Hassan Rouhani was elected President of Iran in 2013.
“Iran seems to make a distinction between economic issues and security ones. With this new approach, Iran probably will focus on the non-controversial issues to develop its economy.
And we will see more Turkish businessmen making investments in Iran in the upcoming days,” said Sinkaya.
With relation to the High Level Cooperation Council between the two countries, Sinkaya said that such a decision is a sign that Turkey’s relationship with Iran has changed in a positive way.Last Mod: 30 Ocak 2014, 13:56