On 28 November, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi met his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the 15th Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) summit in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
During the meeting, the two presidents discussed the disruptive interference of the United States in West Asia, particularly regarding armed groups such as the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and ISIS.
Touching on the Afghanistan issue, Raisi said: “Terrorist groups not only threaten the security of Afghanistan but also the security of the region, so we should not allow terrorist groups like Daesh (ISIS) and the PKK to threaten the security of countries in the region.”
In regard to the establishment of security and stability in Syria, Raisi said, “We should use our capacities to do so.”
For his part, Erdogan reaffirmed Raisi’s take, adding that the White House funds terrorist groups in the West Asia region.
“The White House is training and arming all terrorist groups in the region, including ISIS and the PKK, and providing them with terrorist equipment and tools to create insecurity,” he said, according to IRNA.
With the cooperation of other countries in the region, Erdogan said Iran, Russia, and Turkey can maintain regional stability.
He then said that Turkey considers it necessary to strengthen cooperation with Iran on a bilateral and regional level, and that the two countries can make a leap forward in their economic relations.
Touching on economic developments, Raisi said Iran and Turkey can enhance their trade exchanges to bring their economic and political relations to a strategic level.
“We should facilitate the development of economic relations and preferential tariffs can be reviewed in this regard,” Raisi said, referring to the wide and diverse areas of cooperation between Iran and Turkey, including energy, banking, and monetary affairs.
The Iranian president noted that there is a close relationship between Iran, Azerbaijan, and Turkey, and said that these countries share an array of cultural, religious, and ideological affinities that should not be disrupted. To disappoint the common enemies, Raisi suggested that relations should be as close as possible.
The two leaders met to discuss several files on the Tehran-Ankara table, including Syria and Iraq.
On 26 October, the Turkish parliament ratified a bill, extending Turkey’s military presence in Iraq and Syria until 30 October, 2023.
Iran has repeatedly stated its discontent over the presence of foreign troops in Syria, reiterating that the Syrian conflict can only be solved through dialogue and the public will.