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Amid shared fears, Erdogan, Rouhani unite against Kurdish independence

Amid shared fears, Erdogan, Rouhani unite against Kurdish independence
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. Erdogan is visiting Iran in a sign of warming ties between the two neighbours which support rival camps in Syria but both strongly oppose last week's Iraqi Kurdish vote for independence. / AFP PHOTO

Tehran, Iran: Reacting on the Kurdish referendum, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey Turkish President said that more decisive action is needed. He was addressing a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani.

However, he did not specifically mention the steps that Ankara would take. Turkey had already shut down its border with Iraqi Kurdistan.

It may be mentioned that amid shared fears, Mr. Erdogan and Mr. Rouhani united against Kurdish independence.

Slamming the decision to hold a referendum, Mr. Erdogan said that there is no legality of the referendum and rejected it. He also said that no one recognized them except Israel.

Talking about the further course of action, he said that Turkey and Iran will confront threats which attempt to disintegrate Iraq and Syria.

Speaking on the issue, Mr. Rouhani declared his opposition to Kurdish independence. He also said that his country never harmed Kurdish population. He further said that Iraq is a single country and any geographical changes are not acceptable. Kurdish referendum is a foreign sectarian plot, he added.

It may be noted that on 25th September, in a referendum, around 93 percent of Iraqi Kurds voted in favour of leaving Iraq. The 7.27 percent of votes were against independence, while the null votes represented 1.21 percent.

Iraq’s neighbours Iran and Turkey strongly oppose the referendum, as both have their own Kurdish minorities and fear the vote will stoke separatist aspirations at home.

Washington and many Western countries have also opposed the referendum saying it would hamper the fight against the Islamic State group.

Last week, after the referendum, Turkey and Iraq held joint military exercises. Iraq and Iran also announced joint military exercises. There is no agreement between Iran and Turkey on military exercises.

After 1979 Islamic Revolution, for the first time, Military Chief of Turkey visited Iran on Monday.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday denied Turkish claims of covert involvement in Iraqi Kurdistan’s recent independence vote. However, he reiterated his “sympathy” for the Kurdish people.