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Trade Deals Signed During Turkish PM's Iran Visit


Iranian President Hassan Rohani (right) meets with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Tehran's Saadabad palace on January 29.
Three Iranian-Turkish trade accords have been signed during a visit to Tehran by Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan said the deals signed on January 29 will help Turkey import more oil and natural gas from Iran.

Bilateral trade last year stood at $13.5 billion.

Erdogan's visit has been portrayed as a mission to mend ties between the neighboring states, whose governments have been bitterly split over the Syrian conflict.

Iran is a leading backer of President Bashar al-Assad's government, while Turkey has been seeking to support moderate rebel groups trying to overthrow the regime.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said Tehran's ties with Turkey were entering a "new phase," and officials were hopeful the trend will continue.

Erdogan was expected to hold talks with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rohani, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzihe Afkham said Rohani was expected to visit Turkey in the coming months.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP and AP