Top Turkish commander visits Tehran amid KRG crisis

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Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces Hulusi Akar Mehrabad airport ahead of his official visit in Tehran, Iran on October 1, 2017. Fatemeh Bahrami / Anadolu Agency

In the aftermath of an independence referendum held by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq, Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar visited İran on Sunday, Sputnik reported.

According to the report Akar, who arrived in Tehran on Sunday, was to meet with Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, the chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces, and discuss border security, the fight against terrorism and regional developments.

Bagheri visited Turkey last month accompanied by a high-ranking political-military delegation.

During his first visit to Turkey, the Iranian commander met with Gen. Akar, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan and other senior Turkish officials.

Akar’s visit came amid regional tension resulting the from KRG’s independence referendum, which took place last Monday. Turkey, İran and Iraq have refused to accept the results of the referendum, which was approved by 92 percent of the Kurdish electorate.

While Turkey and Iraq have launched joint military maneuvers in Turkey’s border areas with the Kurdish region in Iraq, Iran declared that it had closed its border gates and halted air traffic to and from Iraq’s Kurdistan region.

The visit follows a Turkish-Russian-Iranian deal last month in which the tree agreed to deploy observers to the boundaries of a de-escalation zone in the Idlib region of northern Syria, which is under the control of Islamist militants.

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