No one allowed to interfere in Iran-Iraq solid relations: Zarif

TEHRAN, Jan. 13 (MNA) – The Iranian foreign minister has said that relations between Iran and Iraq are not detrimental to any country’s interests, stressing that no other country is allowed to meddle with those bilateral relations.

"The Iranian-Iraqi ties are solid and we do not allow anyone to interfere in the relations between Tehran and Baghdad," said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif after a meeting with his Iraqi counterpart Muhammad Ali al-Hakim in Baghdad on Sunday evening during a joint press conference.

During the press conference, Zarif pointed out that the two foreign minister had discussed 10 various issues, adding that the two sides had had very close viewpoints on them.

The Iranian top diplomat added that bilateral relations in various fields of trade, politics, people-to-people affairs, health tourism as well as regional developments and cooperation in international organizations were among the issues discussed in the meeting.

The Iranian foreign minister added that it was decided to form a joint committee as soon as possible to deal with the issue of Arvand Rud, or as it is called in Iraq the Shatt al-Arab, and to introduce the members of the committee in order to start their work.

Zarif added that they had also discussed regional issues such as the situation in Syria, saying that the two sides had talked of the necessity of returning the sovereignty over the whole country to Syria and support the Syrian government in the fight against terrorism.

He added that Iran supports the Iraqi government's efforts to normalize the Syrian government's relations with the Arab countries.

"We also support the peace process in Yemen and solutions to stop the bloodshed there," the Iranian foreign minister added.

Zarif further noted the Islamic Republic of Iran considers Zionist regime of Israel’s policies and the support for that regime to be a major threat to the region. He emphasized that everyone should support the Palestinian cause and the people of Palestine.

Stating that Iran and Iraq share a lot of historical background, Zarif stated that millions of Iranians and Iraqis visit each other’s countries every year, which shows that bilateral relations between Iran and Iraq are "very solid and are not detrimental to anyone's interests. So we do not allow anyone to meddle with our relations.”

Heading a delegation, the Iranian top diplomat arrived in Baghdad this afternoon on a 5-day visit to hold meetings with high-ranking Iraqi as well as Kurdish officials in Erbil and attend three trade meetings between the economic activists from the two countries’ private sectors in the Iraqi cities of Baghdad, Karbala and Sulaymaniyah. He is also scheduled to visit the holy sites in Karbala and Najaf on the 5-day visit. 

Zarif's visit comes few days after his visit to India with the aim of enhancing relations with regional and neigbouring countries. 

KI/4512069

News Code 141473

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