Efforts to separate Iran, Iraq 'futile': Larijani

TEHRAN, Nov. 18 (MNA) – Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has said that Iran and Iraq are naturally connected to each other, advising other countries not to try to separate them.

Ali Larijani made the remarks in a meeting with the visiting Iraqi President Barham Salih and his accompanying delegation in Tehran on Saturday afternoon.

“Iran and Iraq are two countries that are naturally connected and others should not make futile efforts to separate us,” Larijani said.

The speaker of Iranian Parliament said that the two countries have a lot of potentials to develop their bilateral relations, stressing that Iranian companies can contribute to Iraq’s reconstruction in the post-ISIL era.

He welcomed the idea of building shared industrial zones in the Iranian border towns of Marivan and Mehran, as it was suggested by the Iraqi president, stressing “we have a good experience with Turkey in that regard and we believe that such cooperation will facilitate transfer of technology between the two countries,”

He went on to stress the need for intensifying the efforts of chambers of commerce of the two countries, emphasizing "the two chambers of commerce should also be more closely connected.”

He also pointed to the security issues on the shared borders of the two countries, saying that the parliaments of Iran, Russia, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan have formed a joint committee to combat terrorism, expressing hope that Iraq will join it.

Barham Salih, for his part, said that Iraq is passing through a new stage and can be an active actor in the affairs of the region.

Salih further stressed that Iraq can play a central role in the region through its clsoe relations with the Western and Arab countries.

The Iraqi president hailed 'the outstanding' relations with Iran, adding that Iran-Iraq ties provide a solid basis for strengthening cooperation in the whole region.

He said that in his tomorrow visit to Saudi Arabia, he is going to discuss the issue of Yemen with the Saudi officials with the hope of putting an end to the crisis in the war-torn country.

KI/4460931

News Code 139690

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