Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Tehran on October 4 to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in order to discuss a possible joint response to the Kurdish independence vote, Reuters reports.
“We will not accept changing borders in the region,” Rouhani said during a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart.
“Turkey, Iran, and Iraq have no choice but to take serious and necessary measures to protect their strategic goals in the region,” he also said.
Erdogan is also planned to meet Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The Kurdistan independence referendum took place on September 25. Iraqi Kurds overwhelmingly voted for independence, defying the central government in Baghdad as well as neighboring Turkey and Iran.
Both Turkey and Iran, fearing separatist unrest in their own Kurdish minorities, threatened to close borders and impose sanctions on oil exports, with Iran and Iraq conducting joint military drills near the KRG borders on October 2. A small Iraqi force also deployed on the Turkish side of the border as part of joint drills with the Turkish army.
Iraqi Kurdistan leader Massoud Barzani appealed for peace and dialogue.
“We assure the international community that we are committed to a dialogue process with Baghdad,” he said.
Backed by Ankara and Tehran, the Iraqi government has demanded that the Kurdish leadership cancel the result of the referendum or face the prospect of sanctions, international isolation and military intervention.