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Erdogan, Rouhani to reopen Turkey-Iran borders and resume trade

The economies of both countries have taken a hit during the coronavirus pandemic [Getty]

Date of publication: 25 May, 2020

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Iran and Turkey have agreed to work on resuming bilateral trade and reopening land borders shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Iran and Turkey's leaders are moving to open land and air borders between the two neighbouring countries to revive trade activities "as soon as possible".

Speaking over the phone on Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the re-opening of borders is "essential" for both countries.

This, Rouhani said, would be carried out in accordance to health protocols mandated by the coronavirus pandemic, according to Iran's presidential media office. 

Erdogan reportedly said he will be issuing the necessary orders to reopen the border crossings and ensure the return of trade and feight services.

Citing economic decline caused by the virus outbreak, the two presidents expressed hope that a new 'chapter' of Iran-Turkey economic cooperation would promote further bilateral agreements.

The outbreak of coronavirus epidemic in February led to the closure of borders between the neighbouring Muslim countries, limiting trade opportunities.

Turkey has now confirmed over 157,000 coronavirus cases, while Iran has recorded nearly 136,000 infections.

Read also: Turkey declares 'Mission Accomplished' in battle against coronavirus

Turkey's ailing economy has seen the Turkish Lira tumble to new lows as Erdogan scrambles to turn the tide.

Neighbouring Iran has recently witnessed protests staged by workers who have not been paid, as the coronavirus worsened the economy, already weakened by heavy US sanctions.



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