Kurdish Referendum: Turkey's Erdogan heads to Iran

Kurdish Referendum: Turkey's Erdogan heads to Iran

Kurdish Referendum: Turkey's Erdogan heads to Iran

A handout picture provided by the Iranian Presidency shows Iran's President Hassan Rouhani (R) and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan attending a press conference in Tehran on October 4, 2017.

The three countries warned Irbil to step back, against which the Iraqi armed forces launched military drills both with Turkey and Iran near the KRG border.

Erdogan and Rouhani will also preside over the fifth meeting of the Turkey-Iran High Level Strategic Cooperation Council in Tehran.

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.

He said Ankara and Tehran would not recognise the referendum.

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".

Tehran and Ankara pledged Wednesday that they would ensure borders in the region remain unchanged after the recent Kurdish independence referendum in Iraq, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday. He also said that de-escalation zones were very important for Turkey. Iraq's central government, its neighbors and Western powers fear the vote in favor of secession could spark another conflict in the region to add to the war in Syria, and fear it could slow the fight against Islamic State.

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Rouhani saw the poll in northern Iraq as an attempt by "some foreigners" to create sectarian and ethnic strife.

Almost 93 percent of Iraqi Kurds on September 25 voted in a non-binding plebiscite in favor of creating an independent state.

According to results announced by the KRG, nearly 93 percent of registered voters cast ballots in favor of independence.

In the same time-frame, the amount imported from Iraq dropped by 20%, as Iran replaces Iraq as the top supplier to Turkey.

The Turkish leader had accused Iran of seeking to "dominate the region" and demanded that it withdraw its troops from Iraq and Syria. There is no agreement between Iran and Turkey on military exercises.

Israel has denied being involved in the vote, but it has welcomed the Kurds' vote for independence. Turkey has been actively fighting a Kurdish insurgency for 30 years, which has left more than 30,000 people dead.

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