Iraq and Russia said on Monday they share the same positions on Syria and that both sides agree on the unity of the Syrian territories and the need for Damascus to return to the Arab League.
At a joint press conference following a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Baghdad, Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Hakim said the two men tackled combating terrorism in Syria’s Idlib province.
Lavrov, accompanied by a delegation including representatives of major Russian energy companies, arrived in the Iraqi capital Monday on an official visit.
The two men said they agreed that it was necessary to launch the political process in Syria in accordance to the recently formed constitutional committee.
“We must eradicate terrorist groups, create conditions for the return of refugees and migrants and launch a unified political process within the framework of the newly-formed committee,” Lavrov said.
Hakim underscored the strength of Iraqi-Russian relations and the importance of boosting them even further.
“We discussed trade relations, facilitating visa procedures, as well as supporting Iraqi students and developments in the region,” the minister told reporters.
Lavrov said the political dialogue between Iraq and Russia is ongoing.
“We discussed the importance of strengthening bilateral cooperation in the fight against terrorism,” the Russian minister said, adding that there are more than 3,000 Iraqi students studying in Russia and 100 diplomats training.
Concerning tension in the Gulf, Hakim said the two men talked about security challenges facing the region, and they emphasized the need to decrease the tensions in the Gulf region and secure maritime navigation.
Lavrov’s visit coincided with anti-government protests that have swept Iraq for a week.
Later on Monday, he held talks with Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi before heading to Erbil for talks with Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government Masrour Barzani and other officials.