Iran's President Hassan Rouhani began a landmark trip to Turkey yesterday stressing the need to improve ties that have been undermined by competition for regional influence and deep differences over Syria's civil war.
Rouhani will meet his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, where the powerful neighbours are expected to discuss security concerns as well as trade opportunities.
"In recent months, we have witnessed positive developments in the region, particularly in Syria and Iraq," Rouhani said in remarks before leaving Tehran, the ISNA news agency reported.
"It is a necessity (for Iran and Turkey) to cooperate in all aspects, as well as issues regarding North Africa, Palestine and the Middle East," he said, without elaboration, adding that improvement of bilateral relations was of "importance" to the whole region.
The two sides have had a complex and often dysfunctional relationship, which has taken an especially bitter turn in recent years.