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News ID: 4620
Publish Date: 27 July 2017 - 12:53
“It is high time regional countries focused on things that unite us rather than divide us,” the Turkish ambassador in Iran said.
ECO-IEST: "It is high time regional countries focused on things that unite us rather than divide us,” the Turkish ambassador in Iran said during an exclusive interview the Tehran Times on Tuesday 25 July 2017.
"Only then would we be able to delve into more difficult topics,” He said during an exclusive interview in his office at the Turkish embassy. "If you ignore Saudi Arabia, Turkey, or Iran, you will not reach a meaningful atmosphere of trust and cooperation.”

The ambassador likened neighbors to members of a family who may have differences but they should work together to iron out differences.
"No two countries in the world have identical policies or interests. We may always have differences with countries which we have close relations with, as is the case with the members of a family…. But in the bigger picture, we have cooperative relationships based on trust.”
In response to a question on how political and economic issues influence Ankara’s approach toward the region, Mr. Hakan Tekin said, "The basic thing for any country is pursuing their national interests. Interests cannot be seen only in the economic sector. You should have stability, peace, and a reliable environment.”

"When you look at it from the economic angle, Turkey is one of the most developed countries in the region. It is the 16th biggest economy in the world - that is a fact - our GDP, our trade volume, and industrial base. We are poor in natural resources, oil and gas, but we did it through liberalizing our economy. When your economy is not that strong, when you don’t have much trade relations or investment relations, then you may not mind instability much because you don’t have much to lose. But that is not the case with us. We prosper from stability, because the more stability there is, the more economic transactions and investments there will be.”

"Unfortunately what our region has been going through in the last decade or so has brought challenges to our economy. But we managed to allay all those potential damages.  We continued our prosperity and economic growth. When looking at a situation like Syria’s, we don’t look at it from an economic angle, like reasoning: ‘If we pursue Policy A we will make 10 million, and if we pursue Policy B we will gain 2 million, then let’s do Policy A.’ No, that’s not us.”

"We should work together and not politicize the issue. It should be done in an objective, factual way…. It is not true that our dams on the Tigris and the Euphrates increase the chances of dust storms. However, regarding recent claims to that effect from Iran, we are ready to receive any argumentation that Iran has to justify their claims. We are always for dialogue.”
"We are already dealing with a lot of tension in the region and we do not need an additional one. We think it will not be in the interests of anybody, neither the countries which are directly involved in the crisis nor the other countries in the region including Turkey and Iran.
He added, "The Turkish president holds the presidency of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation which makes it an additional responsibility to make more efforts to bridge the differences between these countries.”

Ambassador Hakan Tekin also said environmental problems facing the region should not alienate Iran and Turkey. Instead, he said, they should act as a "bridge” between the two neighbors. 

Source: Tehran Times
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