The Yemen war must be laid to rest through diplomacy, the leaders of Iran and Turkey have agreed today. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani today, and they decided together that a ceasefire should be put into place immediately and that negotiations should begin.
Yemen war a point of contention
Turkey and Iran have felt tensions between them because of the Yemen war. Turkish leaders have accused Iranian leaders of providing support to Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen, thus creating tension. Meanwhile Turkey supports the Arab coalition that has been running air strikes in Yemen.
Rouhani said in a joint news conference that he and Erdogan think all the bloodshed in Yemen must stop immediately. He also said they must initiate a “complete ceasefire” and put an end to the air strikes in Yemen, reports News Hub.
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Turkey, Iran agree to peace
Further, Rouhani said he hoped Turkey and Iran, in addition to other countries in the Arab world, can help bring about “peace, stability, a broader government and dialogue” between both sides in the Yemen war.
Erdogan said two weeks ago that Turkey should pull all of its forces out of Iraq, Yemen and Syria. Mohammed Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, in turn accused Turkey of creating instability in Yemen and throughout the Middle East.
Other areas of contention
In addition to being at odds over the Yemen war, Iran and Turkey also oppose each other on the Syrian civil war. Turkey backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey supports the Syrian rebels.
Even though Iran and Turkey are at odds on so many issues, the presidents of both countries want to increase trade between them. They want to bring the amount of trade up to $30 billion this year. Erdogan said during the meetings that the trade balance has been bad for Turkey because Iran imports $4 billion worth of products from Turkey but exports $10 billion worth of products.
He also wants to see trades in both countries’ currencies rather than euros or dollars so that changes in foreign exchange rates don’t affect the trades. Additionally, he asked for Iran to cut the price of the gas Turkey purchases from it.