tiptrot.com March 21, 2018

Erdogan visits Iran as ties warm amid shared fears

05 October 2017, 12:13 | Bernice Figueroa

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends an interview with Reuters at the Presidential Palace in Ankara Turkey

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends an interview with Reuters at the Presidential Palace in Ankara Turkey

He was addressing a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani.

Turkey has threatened to close its land border and halt the export of oil from Iraqi Kurdistan to the Turkish port of Ceyhan, an economic lifeline.

"A development of this sort will isolate the Kurdish regional government", Mr Erdogan warned.

"The referendum in Kurdistan was against the Iraqi constitution, which does not help the people of Kurdistan, and is not justifiable for Iraq's security", Mohammad Javad Zarif said.

Stressing that combatting terrorism is one of the most important goals of Iran and Turkey, he said: "We must fight any terrorist group, whether they are called ISIL, al-Nusra Front or P.K.K".

Iran and Turkey will work together to confront the disintegration of Iraq and Syria to ease tension in the crisis-hit region, Rouhani said after meeting with Erdoğan in Tehran.

Speaking on the issue, Mr. Rouhani declared his opposition to Kurdish independence.

Turkey also has sizeable Kurdish population -14 million, out of a total population of about 81 million - that resides in the southeast of the country and bordering Iraq and Iran's Kurdish territories. "As we have repeatedly stated we will never be the first party to violate the agreement", said the President adding that the Islamic Republic of Iran is fully committed to the nuclear accord.

Military and civilian officials appear concerned about the outcome of the Kurdish referendum held in Iraq on September 25.

The results of Kurdish independence vote showed that the referendum would have "a lot of risks for the security of Iraq and the region", he was quoted as saying.

"We have taken some measures already with Iran and the Iraqi central government, but stronger steps will be taken", he said.

Israel has been among the only countries to openly support an independent Kurdish state, and many Kurds have openly welcomed Israel's support, drawing accusations from Arab leaders that last week's referendum was a Zionist plot. In meeting, Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar, who previously came to Iran to make contacts, was also present.

Iran and Turkey signed four agreements on Wednesday to promote cooperation in various areas.

Those exercises have also involved forces of the federal government in Baghdad, which has demanded the annulment of the vote which returned a 92.7 percent "yes" for independence.

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