May 24, 2020 15:31 UTC
  • Iran, Turkey presidents urge full reopening of borders after pandemic

Presidents of Iran and Turkey have stressed the need for immediate reopening of borders between the two neighbors after more than two months of closure over the new coronavirus pandemic.

According Fars News agency on Sunday President Hassan Rouhani and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan had discussed the borders reopening in a phone call held earlier in the day.

President Rouhani and Erdogan urged “immediate reopening of land and air borders” while observing hygiene protocols to allow trade between the countries to resume, said the report.

Border closures that began after the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus pandemic, have caused trade between Iran and Turkey to decline significantly in the first quarter this year.

A report by Tehran’s Chamber of Commerce published earlier this month showed that the value of the three-month trade between the neighbors had decreased by 70 percent to stand at $645 million at the end of March.

In his phone call, Rouhani told Erdogan that resumption of economic exchanges between Iran and Turkey was a necessity given the current economic around the world as a result of the pandemic.

Erdogan also vowed to issue orders to expedite the reopening of Turkey’s eastern borders with Iran. The Turkish president also reiterated the need for more cooperation between Iran and Turkey on how to handle the spread COVID-19.