ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says that continued cooperation between Tehran and Ankara in several fields, notably military, will secure the region’s stability and eliminate threats.
After receiving Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar at the presidential palace in Tehran on Monday, Rouhani said: "today the countries are having satisfactory political, economic and international relations; we should try to broaden our military and defense relations in pace with other areas as well,' Iranian Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported.
Rouhani said change in the region’s boundaries would harm stability of the region.
Rouhani added Ankara and Tehran “as two important and influential countries in stabilizing the region can play a more effective role in settlement of regional problems and crises."
This visit by Turkey’s military chief comes a week after the Kurdistan Region voted overwhelmingly for independence in a referendum and prior to an expected visit by the Turkish president to Iran.
For his part, according to Turkish Anadolu Agency, Akar has said that “Turkey and Iran, as two important and powerful countries of the region, will play an important role in the region's stability and peace with improving cooperation.”
Akar added that Turkey works to preserve the territorial integrity of Iraq.
Turkish and Iranian armies have already launched joint military drills with Iraq on the Turkey, Iran and KRG borders, a few days after the referendum was held.
Kurdish leaders for their part remain steadfast that the results of the referendum are nonnegotiable but that they are willing to enter peaceful dialogue with Baghdad over all disputes and future relations.