Erdogan to visit Iran soon


Turkey stands for Iraq's territorial integrity and sovereignty, a source in the Turkish presidential administration told Trend Aug. 17.

The talks between Erdogan and Baqeri over the Kurdish referendum, the war in Syria, and other issues lasted 50 minutes, Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Under Secretary of Turkey's foreign ministry went on to confirm Rahmipour's comments on the fact that similar views are held between Tehran and Ankara over various regional issues specially as regards the fight against terrorism and the need to preserve national integrity of Iraq and Syria.

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Ümit Yalçın, for his part, said relations between Iran and Turkey were on the right track and boosting interactions between officials of the two sides would help bolster bilateral relations.

Analysts have little doubt that the September 25 referendum would result in a "Yes" for an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq.

Turkey says Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region should reverse its decision to hold a referendum on independence, warning that the vote could lead to a civil war.

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The President of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Massoud Barzani, announced on 7 June that a referendum on "independence from Iraq" will be held on 25 September. Turkish security forces in the southeast of the country are still fighting the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a deadly three-decade insurgency.

The U.S. State Department has said it is concerned that the referendum in northern Iraq will distract from "more urgent priorities" such as the defeat of Islamic State militants.

"An independence referendum would only worsen the situation in the country, which is already experiencing a lot of problems". We said, are saying and will continue to say, that we are clearly against it. If it is not, he added, then "Baghdad and Erbil will be faced with many disputes".

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On the Syrian issue, the talks focused on the de-escalation zones mechanism which was earlier agreed upon and the contribution of the countries to the mechanism.

"According to the information we have gathered on the ground, the people are not interested or enthusiastic. There are serious economic problems the must be addressed", he added, stressing that the wider worldwide community also does not support the referendum.

Turkish President Recep Erdogan has strongly criticized the Iraqi Kurdistan referendum plan, calling it "an error" and "a threat" to Iraq's territorial integrity.

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In June, the U.S. state department said it was concerned the referendum in northern Iraq would distract from "more urgent priorities" such as the defeat of ISIL.