Erdogan, Turkey Chief of General Staff to pay separate visits to Iran

18 Sept 2017 – Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar will pay separate visits to Iran in the coming days amid rising tension over the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) bid to hold an independence referendum on Sept. 25 and the developments in Syria.

Iranian President Hasan Ruhani and Erdogan will preside over the Fifth Turkey-Iran High Level Strategic Council meeting that will be held in Tehran on Oct. 4, Hurriyet daily reported.

“We will focus on Turkish-Iranian relationships and regional developments. The most sensitive one is [the developments] in Iraq and Syria. The fight against terror is also important,” Erdogan said in a televised interview over the weekend.

Ruhani and Erdogan recently met in person in Astana on the margins of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in early September.


“The relationship between Turkey and Iran has revived. I am hopeful for the results,” Erdogan stressed.

The Tehran meeting will concentrate on boosting bilateral cooperation in various fields like transportation, energy and trade as well as political and cultural issues. The two countries have also been discussing ways to fight against terror. Erdogan announced that Turkey’s Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar will also pay a visit to Iran prior to his scheduled trip on Oct. 4.

“This will be a return visit. As you know, the Iranian Chief of General Staff [Major General Mohammad] Bakiri had paid a visit to Turkey. Our chief of general staff will go to Iran before my visit to hold preliminary talks,” Erdogan said.

On Aug. 16, Iran’s top soldier paid a visit to Ankara and became the first Iranian top soldier visiting the Turkish capital. The two chiefs of general staff discussed ways to fight terrorism as well as border security.

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