Rouhani, Erdogan talk Ayat. Rafsanjani's demise, regional issues on phone

TEHRAN, Jan. 13 (MNA) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan telephoned President Rouhani on Thursday to extend his condolence on the passing of Expediency Council Chief Ayatollah Akabr Hashemi Rafsanjani.

Appreciating the sympathy offered by the Turkish government and nation, Rouhani said it shows that we are neighbors and brothers sharing grief and joy with each other, which is one of good traditions of Islam upon which we comfort each other when we are in great sorrow.

Rouhani said that the late Rafsanjani always underlined expansion and consolidation of friendly ties between Iran and its neighbors, especially Turkey.

"The late Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani was a politician who insisted on the consolidation of friendly relations with Muslim countries and neighbors, especially Turkey," he noted.

He also offered his condolences to the Turkish president on the death of a number of Turkish citizens in terrorist attacks and expressed hope that by cooperation between the two governments terrorism could be uprooted, so that people of the region may feel more tranquility.

President Rouhani underlined that Tehran welcomes closer cooperation among Ankara, Moscow and Tehran for establishment of peace in the region, adding, "close cooperation among Tehran, Moscow and Ankara will be very important in creating peace and stability in the region."

Touching upon Syrian crisis, Rouhani expressed pleasure over the ceasefire in the country and said all should try to safeguard and continue it.

He also expressed hope that cooperation between Iran and Turkey could result in a relative stability in Syria.

President Erdogan, for his part, said strong ties between the two countries to resolve regional issues is very effective and the Turkish government stresses the need for promoting and continuing dialogue on bilateral and regional issues.

He noted that the loss of Ayatollah Rafsanjani was a great sorrow for his national and government as they regarded him as a great statesman and politician, who endeavored for peace, stability and tranquility of the region and creation of firm ties between Tehran and Ankara.

Iran and Turkey have a great responsibility in the region, so they should strengthen their cooperation to reduce regional tensions, he added.

On ceasefire in Syria and upcoming negotiations in Astana, President Erdogan said all should try to cement the foundations of such a ceasefire in Syria.

LR/3875349

News Code 122664

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