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Rouhani, Erdogan discuss Iraqi Kurdish referendum by phone
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday discussed the Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum on the phone, state IRIB TV reported.
The Iraqi Kurds on Monday cast their votes in a referendum that will determine the independence of the Kurdish region and the disputed areas that are currently under de facto Kurdish control.
Both Rouhani and Erdogan emphasized their coordinated opposing stance over the referendum in their telephone conversation.
The integrity of Iraq is highly important for Iran, Rouhani said, adding that the security of his country and the region is, to a significant degree, depends on this factor.
This is a clear message for those who are going to disturb the security and stability of the region, Rouhani pointed out.
Turkey would also give any appropriate response to the Kurdish referendum at political, economic or military level, Erdogan said.
Ankara is ready to boost his ties with the Islamic republic given the current situation in the region, Erdogan stressed.
On June 7, the Kurdish regional President Masoud Barzani announced his intention to hold a referendum on the independence of the Kurdish region from Iraq on Sept. 25.
The independence of Kurdistan is opposed by many countries because it would threaten the integrity of Iraq and because it could undermine fight against Islamic State militants.
In addition, neighboring countries such as Turkey, Iran and Syria see that such a step would threaten their territorial integrity, as larger populations of Kurds live in those countries.
[Source: Xinhua, Tehran, 25Sep17]
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