Ahmet Davutoglu.jpg
Photograph: EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu arrived in the Iranian capital Tehran Saturday for talks that were expected to touch on the Syrian civil war and the expansion of economic cooperation between the two nations.

Despite supporting opposite sides in the Syrian conflict, the two countries pledged to work for peace and stability in the region, Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri and Davutoglu said.

Iran, Russia and the Lebanese Hezbollah movement support the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the five-year conflict, while Turkey has said al-Assad must go for there to be a lasting resolution.

Davutoglu said Turkey and Iran have common geopolitical interests and that would never change. He said Turkey had always stood by Iran even "in bad times."

"We may have different opinions on some issue, but we cannot change our history and our geography," Davutoglu was quoted by Turkey's Anadolu news agency as saying.

Davutoglu was due to meet Iranian President Hassan Rowhani later Saturday to discuss developments in Syria, where a fragile ceasefire has been in effect for one week.

Media reports said that the Turkish premier's schedule would also include talks with the Iranian Oil Ministry about working together on the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project.

With the lifting of sanctions on Iran following the nuclear deal with the international community, trade could now go ahead between Turkey and Iran, Anadolu quoted Davutoglu as saying.

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