Turkey and Iran seek closer economic cooperation

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

ISTANBUL (AP) — The presidents of Turkey and Iran have agreed to boost economic cooperation between their neighboring nations.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, speaking Saturday at a joint press conference in Ankara, prioritized banking cooperation and easing custom duties to foster investment and increased trade. They also hope to boost tourism between their citizens, a sector that took a hit in Turkey after deadly suicide bombings in Ankara and Istanbul.

Iran has been seeking to integrate into the global financial system since nuclear-related sanctions were lifted, but has accused the U.S. and the European Union of shutting it out despite the deal.

Erdogan said the two nations, which are at odds over Syria, should work together "to tackle the problems of sectarianism and terrorism" that are shaking the region.