Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived Wednesday in the Iranian capital Tehran for an official visit.
He was welcomed at Mehrabad airport by Iranian Minister of Industry, Minerals and Trade Mohammad Shariat Madar, along with the Turkish Ambassador to Tehran Riza Hakan Tekin and Turkish Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar.
The Turkish leader is accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Berat Albayrak, Minister of Trade and Customs Bulent Tufenkci, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, Minister of Culture and Tourism Numan Kurtulmus as well as the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s Deputy Chairman Mehdi Eker.
Erdogan, Rouhani united in opposition to Kurdish state :
Turkish leader links Israel’s Mossad to Kurdish referendum, while Iranian president blames ‘foreign sectarian plot’.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for “more decisive action” in response to the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG)’s attempt to split from Iraq, as he joined his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani in renewing their opposition to the redrawing of the Iraqi borders.
“From this moment forward, more decisive steps will be taken,” Erdogan said on Wednesday during a joint media appearance with Rouhani in Tehran.
He did not say what specific steps Ankara would take, although Ankara had earlier threatened to shut down its border with the KRG.
“It was an illegitimate referendum, and we don’t accept it,” he said. “What referendum were they carrying out? No one has recognised them apart from Israel.”
The Kurdish leadership “cannot legitimise” the referendum by aligning itself with Israel’s spy agency Mossad, Erdogan added.
Rouhani also declared his opposition to an independent Kurdish state, even as he said that his country “does not mean any harm” to the Kurdish population.
“As far as we are concerned, Iraq is one single country,” he said. “We do not accept any geographical changes.”
“But the people of Iraqi Kurdistan are our good neighbours, are our dear brothers. We do not want them to experience any pressure, we do not wish to exert this pressure,” Rouhani added, while blaming Kurdish officials for the decision to proceed with the referendum.
He said the Kurdish referendum and plan to split from Iraq is part of a “foreign sectarian plot”.