Iran and Turkmenistan on Wednesday signed a series of documents and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) to broaden bilateral cooperation in different fields.
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raeisi and his counterpart from Turkmenistan, Serdar Berdimuhamedow, signed the agreements at a ceremony in Tehran.
Nine MoUs were signed in the meeting to boost cooperation in various fields, including politics, economy, trade, transportation, investment, new technologies, environment, sports, energy, judiciary, education, research, and tourism.
Earlier in the day, Raeisi officially welcomed Berdimuhamedow, who arrived in Tehran on Tuesday afternoon for an official two-day visit.
This is Berdimuhamedow’s first visit to Iran as Turkmenistan’s president. He traveled to Tehran in January as the special envoy of Turkmenistan’s former president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, and held talks with Raeisi.
Speaking at the Wednesday meeting, President Raeisi expressed Iran’s strong will to sign strategic, long-term deals with Turkmenistan, saying there is great potential for Tehran-Ashgabat cooperation which should be tapped into.
Raeisi hails ‘relationship of kinship’ between Tehran, Ashgabat
He said his Turkmen counterpart’s visit to Iran can be a turning point in bilateral relations.
“My visit to Ashgabat a few months ago managed to activate cooperation between the two countries. Steps were taken in the fields of gas swap, transportation, and cooperation between the two countries,” the president added.
The expansion of bilateral cooperation will definitely lead to better regional and international developments, he said.
“The relationship between Iran and Turkmenistan is not just a neighborly relationship, but a relationship of brotherhood, civilization, and culture. In other words, it is a relationship of kinship, and this deep relationship between the two countries can provide the basis for greater cooperation between the two countries,” he noted.
Raeisi said he thinks the two countries should deepen and upgrade their cooperation in fields related to economy, trade, water, electricity, and gas.
He thanked former Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow for taking good steps in deepening the bilateral relations, expressing hope that his successor would also take effective steps to that end.
‘Foreign presence will not bring security to region’
The Iranian president also said foreign presence in West Asia will not bring security and stability to the region.
According to Raeisi, Tehran and Ashgabat share similar views on the situation in their mutual neighbor Afghanistan.
“We believe that in Afghanistan, there should be an inclusive government representing all political parties and ethnic groups,” he said.
“Regional issues must be resolved by regional officials, and any presence of foreigners may cause problems,” Raeisi said. “We believe that the presence of foreigners in the region will hinder security and create problems.”
The Turkmen president, for his part, urged close cooperation with Tehran on issues such as the Caspian Sea legal regime.
He also called for enhancing relations with Iran in international bodies.
Later in the day, Berdimuhamedow and his accompanying delegation met with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.