Turkey's Erdogan in Iran amid tensions over Iraqi Kurd vote

Turkey's Erdogan in Iran amid tensions over Iraqi Kurd vote

Turkey's Erdogan in Iran amid tensions over Iraqi Kurd vote

"Turkey, Iran, and Iraq have no choice but to take serious and necessary measures to protect their strategic goals in the region".

Iran and Turkey are among many countries that opposed the Kurdish referendum in Iraq.

Just prior to Erdogan's visit, Turkish Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar visited Tehran, where he sat down for talks with senior Iranian officials, including President Rouhani and Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami.

In addition to northern Iraq, the crisis in Syria is expected to be discussed.

"We, as Iran and Turkey, have made firm decisions and it is open to everybody", Erdogan said, adding that "We only recognize the central government in Baghdad".

Akar said Iran, Iraq and Turkey will prevent the implementation of separatist plans in the region through joint efforts.

Rouhani said: "Iran and Turkey, as two friendly, Muslim states, are the centerline of regional stability".

"We will not accept a change of borders under any circumstances".

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Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region announced on Tuesday it was calling presidential and parliamentary elections for the beginning of November.

The central government, its neighbors and Western powers fear the vote in favor of secession could spark another, wider conflict in the Middle East region to add to the war in Syria.

"Whatever name they give to it, we will fight against terrorism".

According to him, the creation of a new state in Iraq is risky both for Turkey and Iran.

He also went on to mention the existing potentials in various sectors such as mining, petrochemicals and energy in Iran, saying: "We welcome investment by Irish businesspeople in various projects in our country and Iran can be a reliable source for meeting the needs of European countries in the field of energy".

Erdoğan said the referendum had no legitimacy and had only been recognized by Israeli regime.

Israel has denied Turkey's previous claims of involvement in the vote, but has welcomed the Kurds' vote for independence. He also said that de-escalation zones were very important for Turkey.

In the same time-frame, the amount imported from Iraq dropped by 20%, as Iran replaces Iraq as the top supplier to Turkey. Under presidency of two countries, fourth meeting of Turkish-Iranian high-level co-operation Council will be held.

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