Turkey Sees Sharp Increase In Oil From Iran, While Iraq's Share Drops

Turkey Sees Sharp Increase In Oil From Iran, While Iraq's Share Drops

Shia Muslim Iran and mainly Sunni Muslim Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member, have traditionally had cool relations but both have been alarmed by the Iraqi Kurds' vote for independence in a Sept 25 referendum, fearing it will stoke separatism among their own Kurdish populations.

On the economic front, Erdogan said he expects closer ties with Iran, as he announced an agreement to increase trade between the two countries from $10bn to $30bn.

"Turkey shares some 350 kilometers of its borderline [with the KRG] and to the east is Iran, to the south is central Iraq, and Syria to the west", asserted the top Turkish official to reason for uselessness of the measure as he maintained that no country other than the Israeli regime recognized the referendum.

Against the backdrop of growing concerns over the Kurdish issue, Turkey and Iran have reportedly discussed possible joint military action against Kurdish militant groups.

Rouhani also said that Iran can be a "reliable source" to provide the European Union's member states with energy.

The results of Kurdish independence vote showed that the referendum would have "a lot of risks for the security of Iraq and the region", he was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Ankara hopes for a summit with Iranian and Iraqi leaders to coordinate the responses to the Kurdish independence vote.

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The two presidents also talked about the region, particularly the September 25 poll in Iraq's Kurdistan on secession, which has dominated the political landscape of West Asia in recent weeks.

Iran and Turkey both have expressed support for the territorial integrity of the Arab country.

He said the Kurdish referendum and plan to split from Iraq is part of a "foreign sectarian plot".

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Erdogan vowed to work closely together to prevent the disintegration of Iraq and Syria and to oppose the Iraqi Kurds' drive for independence.

The Iranian military announced on October 2 it would host joint military exercises with the Iraqi army near the Iraqi Kurdish region.

Last week, the Iranian Army and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) staged joint military drills along the country's western border areas.

According to the Iranian military officials, the ongoing war games signals the message of peace and security to the friends and reminds the enemies that the country's borders will be powerfully protected against hostile moves.

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