TEHRAN, Dec. 6 (Mehr News Agency) — Iraqi Transportation Minister Bahnam Zeyabolis is in Iran for a three-day visit following the visits of several members of the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC).

He will be holding discussions with Iranian officials on the expansion of relations and cooperation between the two countries. The governor of Basra and a number of officials of the Iraqi commerce and interior ministries and the Iraqi railway and airline services are part of the Iraqi delegation headed by the Iraqi transportation minister.

 

Iraqi officials’ numerous visits to Iran attest to the fact that Iraq is very interested in increasing cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran. IGC member Ahmad Chalabi also visited Tehran last week with this objective. He said then that one of the goals of his visit was to show gratitude to Iran for its support of thousands of Iraqi refugees who sought asylum in Iran during the rule of Saddam Hussein.

 

Iran was the first country to recognize the IGC and sent a high-ranking delegation to Iraq shortly after the IGC was established.

 

In fact, the Islamic Republic has always tried to help the Iraqi people solve their problems.

 

Iran and Iraq signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on economic cooperation on November 18 in Tehran. One of the articles of the MOU authorized the establishment of Iranian trade centers in Iraqi cities. The two countries also agreed to make efforts to increase imports to Iraq and to give Iraq permission to use Iran's commercial and port facilities and its transportation network.

 

Iraq’s highways are in a state of disrepair and in serious need of reconstruction.

 

Meanwhile, Iran possesses an excellent transportation network with roads, railways, and seaports. Therefore, Iran plans to cooperate in the reconstruction of Iraq's transportation network and to help fulfill Iraq's transportation needs during the reconstruction period.

 

However, Iraq's main difficulties are the lack of security and the continuation of the occupation. Clearly, the establishment of stability and security in the country is a prerequisite for any cooperation in solving Iraq's problems.

 

Iran and the rest of the international community want Iraq to become a peaceful, independent, democratic, and stable country so that it will not be a threat to its neighbors, as it was in the past. Iran will do whatever is required to attain this goal, which, once achieved, will foster regional peace and security.

 

JH/HG

End

 

MNA

News Code 3428

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