Zarif satisfied with his visit to Iraq, says 'always a pleasure to be back touring in Iraq'

TEHRAN, Jan. 15 (MNA) – Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described the details of his trip to Baghdad and his separate meetings with Iraqi officials in eight tweets, posted early on Tuesday.

Javad Zarif addressed a gathering of representatives from hundreds of Iranian and Iraqi companies in the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad on Monday, during a trade meeting between the economic agents of the two countries’ private sectors. The meeting was held with the purpose of discussing opportunities for investment in Iraq, the participation of Iran's private sector in the reconstruction of Iraq after the defeat of ISIL terrorists and enhancement of trade cooperation.

Today, I, accompanied by 6 Iraqi ministers, addressed hundreds of participants at the Iran-Iraq Joint Trade Conference; exploring paths to significantly expand bilateral trade and investment. With implementation of shared vision, doubling of annual trade volume is on the horizon," Zarif wrote on his Twitter.

Zarif also met with Iraq’s Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Sunday, during the meeting, the two sides explored avenues for further expansion of bilateral relations. They also discussed the latest developments in the region.

"Always a pleasure to be back touring in #Iraq. Yesterday I had the honor to meet with PM @AdilAbdAlMahdi and FM @Maalhakim to discuss strategy on how to further expand bilateral relations–including trade. We also exchanged views on regional & int’l issues, such as #Yemen, #Syria," Zarif's tweet reads.

Iranian minister also held a meeting with Iraq’s National Wisdom Movement Leader, Ammar al-Hakim, during which the two sides discussed Iran-Iraq relations and cooperation in fighting terrorism, especially IAIL. The Iraqi official acknowledged Iran’s fundamental role in fighting against ISIL and assisting Iraqi people.

"Additionally, I've had the good fortune to engage in fruitful exchange of thoughts with the head of #Iraq’s Reform and Reconstruction Alliance @Ammar_Alhakeem, as well as with prominent Iraqi leaders -- from @AyadAllawi to friends from the Nasr and Sadrist coalitions," he said.

Zarif held separate meetings with representatives of religious, political, cultural, ethnic and social groups, organisations and institutions, including the head and members of the Sunni Waqf and representatives of Christian, Mandaean, Turkmen and Izadi minorities on Monday.

In the meeting, Zarif stressed the need for deep, brotherly and respect-based relations between the people of Iran and Iraq, saying that “close relations between our nations are a source of hope and an excellent example of [friendly] relations between nations in the region.”

"As with my past visits, I've been honored to be able to make use of opportunity to engage with representatives of the many diverse actors in the rich mosaic of #Iraq; from Christians, Yezidis, Sabaeans, Turkmen, and Feyli Kurds to the Sunni Endowment," his next tweet reads.

In a meeting with the Speaker of Iraqi Parliament Mohamed al-Halbousi in Baghdad on Monday, Zarif referred to the good relations between the two countries, especially parliamentary relations, adding the annual exchange of visits by Iranians and Iraqis to each other’s countries show the high level of bilateral relations. Mohamed al-Halbousi also emphasized the strengthening and expansion of bilateral relations with Iran.

"Pleased to meet Parliament Speaker Mr. Al-Halbousi and engage in an extensive, constructive and friendly dialogue with him and 20 of his colleagues in #Iraq's Council of Representatives," Zarif said.

Later on Monday, Zarif met with Iraq’s President Barham Salih at the presidential palace in Baghdad. During the meeting, the two sides discussed Iran-Iraq relations as well as major developments in the world and the region.

Salih emphasized the importance of bolstering his country’s relations with Iran, noting that this issue will not only serve the two nation’s interests, but also benefit security and stability of the entire region.

"Honored to have substantive meeting and dinner with President @BarhamSalih to discuss further cooperation and constructive engagement between our two countries. Iran and Iraq are determined to work together to promote a strong region," Zarif's tweet reads.

In another tweet, Zarif described his meeting with leadership of the Reform Alliance as effective and Construction Alliance; they discussed bilateral and regional issues.

"After Sunday dinner in Baghdad with the leadership of the Reform Alliance, I had the pleasure of lunch today with the leadership of the Construction Alliance—the other major Iraqi coalition—to discuss bilateral and regional issues. Both parties cross ethnic & sectarian divides," Zarif reiterated.

Iranian foreign minister in a meeting with former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki discussed the latest regional developments.

"Separately, I had the pleasure of meeting with former Prime Minister Maliki and former Prime Minister Allavi—with members of his coalition, including former Speaker Salim al-Jabouri. My visit allows for engaging in dialogue with different political currents and leaders in Iraq," Zarif asserted in a tweet on Tuesday.

Zarif, heading a politico-economic delegation, arrived in Baghdad on Sunday; senior managers of several Iranian state and private sector companies are accompanying Zarif during his 5-day trip.

LR 

News Code 141522

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