Iran, Iraq enjoy deep, strategic ties

TEHRAN, Aug. 14 (MNA) – Iranian Interior Minister, at a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart, said bilateral ties between the two countries had always been profound and strategic.

Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli made the remarks in a join meeting with the visiting Iraqi Interior Minister Qasim al-Araji and his accompanying delegation. Prior to signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two ministries, Iran’s Rahmani Fazli welcomed the Iraqi delegation expressing hope that existing ties between the two sides, who share similar histories and cultures, will be further bolstered and expanded.

Extending congratulations to the Iraqi government and nation on victories in the fight against the ISIL and terrorists, the Iranian official voiced optimism that all internal and external enemies will be overcome through joint efforts. “Iran has always remained on the side of Iraqis and will spare no effort in combating terrorists,” he continued.

“We hope collaborations will continue between Iranian and Iraqi interior ministries for realizing more comprehensive cooperation in security, trade, economic and tourism arenas,” highlighted Rahmani Fazli.

He recalled that, last year, in partnership with government of Iran, better facilities had been provided for Iranian pilgrims who participated in Arba'een as one of the world’s largest pilgrimage gatherings in the Iraqi city of Karbala. “Experiences gathered in previous years will be hopefully applied to the upcoming event in the present year.”

Iran’s interior minister said the two sides could also cooperate on organized crime, drug trafficking, counterterrorism and border issues not to mention dust storms over which negotiations have been already held between high-ranking Iranian and Iraqi authorities.

He later urged the Iraqi side to remove hurdles faced by Iranian traders as regards visa issuance. Rahmani Fazli also noted that visa for Arba’een ceremony had to be issued in advance, preferably in an electronic way, in order to avoid numerous future difficulties.

The official went on to stress that border control had to be continued up to ten days after the religious event in order to prevent smuggling of weapons and alcoholic drinks as well as to thwart possible terrorist attacks.

Later into his remarks, he stressed the need to reconstruct Iraq following the ultimate victory over ISIL and terrorists; “given that massive damages have been made to the neighboring country, Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to assist Iraqis in rebuilding their country so that it can play more effective roles in regional equations.”

Rahmani Fazli said Iran attached great importance to cohesion and unity of Iraq; “although certain agents are seeking to undermine integrity of the neighboring country, we believe that solidarity can turn Iraq into a potent and powerful country.”


News Code 127067


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