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Iran President, Iraq PM Meet for 1st Time, Discuss Bilateral, Regional Affairs

Iran President, Iraq PM Meet for 1st Time, Discuss Bilateral, Regional Affairs

Monday, 13 September, 2021 - 05:15
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, right, and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi sit during their meeting in Tehran, Iran, September 12, 2021. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi announced on Sunday that Iraq has agreed to waive visas for Iranians.

The president received in Tehran on Sunday Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, his first official guest since his election in August.

Kadhimi had arrived in Iran on Sunday at the head of a senior political and economic delegation.

Bilateral talks focused on political, economic and cultural issues. Officials also exchanged views on regional and international developments before Raisi and Kadhimi held closed-door talks.

During a joint press conference with the PM, Raisi announced that Tehran and Baghdad had expressed a desire to develop a railway between the both banks of the Shatt al-Arab River and to connect Iraq’s southern Basra port to Iran’s Shalamcheh border crossing.

Raisi hailed relations with Iraq, but said they can be developed further in various fields in spite of the “enmity and enemies.”

“Relations should not be limited to the bilateral level as both countries can play a role in the region and world,” he added, according to Iranian media.

He stressed that the talks he held with Kadhimi and the accompanying ministers all aim to develop relations.

“We hope the decisions that were taken will be implemented as soon as possible,” he remarked.

For his part, Kadhimi noted that this was his second visit to Iran in a year, which signifies the importance of relations between Baghdad and Tehran.

He said talks focused on achieving greater cooperation in joint files, reflecting the fraternity between Iraq and Iran and their peoples.

Observers have said that the PM has managed during his term to forge good relations with the Iranians even as his ties with pro-Tehran factions and their affiliated political blocs in Iraq, especially the Fatah alliance headed by Hadi al-Ameri, have soured.

Commenting on Kadhimi’s visit, an aide to the PM, Dr. Hussein Allawi said: “The Iranian leadership is seeking a new approach that supports the Iraqi government and people.”

This will in turn bolster the image of an effective Iraqi state that would reflect positively on the economic, political, cultural and security partnership with Iran, he explained to Asharq Al-Awsat.

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