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Turkish, Iranian Ministers meet for economic committee

03 February 2010 [20:16] - TODAY.AZ
Senior Turkish and Iranian officials have gathered in a meeting of an economic committee of the two countries which aims to boost cooperation in trade relations.
Turkish State Minister Cevdet Yilmaz and Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Motaki met on Wednesday in the Turkish capital, Ankara, along with delegations from the two countries.

Speaking at the opening of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) meeting, Yilmaz said Turkey aimed at opening a "golden age" in Turkish-Iranian relations with projects such as carrying Turkmen and Iranian natural gas to Europe over Turkey.

Yilmaz said Turkey and Iran were two "friend and brother" countries which had both determined the fate of the region throughout the history, adding that the development of relations between the two countries would make positive contributions to the stability and the prosperity in the region.

Yilmaz said the trade volume between the two countries exceeded in 2008 for the first time 10 billion USD, which dropped to 5.5 billion USD due to fallout from a global economic recession.

The Turkish minister said Turkey and Iran aimed at boosting trade volume up to as high as 30 billion USD within five years, adding that the two countries needed to take necessary steps in order to remove barriers against trade.

Yilmaz cited plans to establish a joint bank of the two countries in a bid to overcome problems in financing trade as well as the establishment of an Iranian bank in Turkey.

Yilmaz said a natural gas pipeline constructed between Turkey and Iran was one of the most important projects carried out between the two countries, adding that the shipment through the pipeline was worth of 1.5 to 2 billion USD annually.

"It is obvious that these figures will go up in the coming years. Projects such as the transportation of Turkmen and Iranian natural gas to Europe over Turkey will bring our relations to a much higher level. We do attach great importance to our cooperation with Iran on this issue as well as to our cooperation in the Nabucco project," Yilmaz said.

Iranian foreign minister reaffirmed that the importance of transporting Iranian natural gas to Europe over Turkey, calling for joint investments.

"Opening new phases in the South Pars Natural Gas Fields, solving issues regarding a sales agreement and the establishment of a joint refinery are important projects," Motaki said.

/World Bulletin/

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