A meeting held in Baghdad today between the Iranian and Iraqi presidents, who deemed it crucial to highlight the friendly, brotherly and fast developing relations between the two nations, also demanded more diligent efforts by the authorities to strengthen bilateral, regional and international ties between Iran and Iraq.

As reported by the official website of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani expressed gratitude for the great hospitality of the Iraqi government extended to the Iranian delegation in a meeting with President Barham Salih of Iraq held in Baghdad on Monday, and was hopeful that the visit would help to foster the relations between the two countries in the future. Referring to the existing mutually beneficial and friendly equation between the two nations in various fields, he said “the Islamic Republic of Iran, in its entirety, is determined to further develop relations with Iraq.”

“Close Tehran-Baghdad relations is what our nations want,” said Rouhani, adding “Iranian scientists and religious leaders have always been alongside each other and the Najaf and Qom seminaries have been the cradle of many great religious authorities.”

While referring to the significance of enhancing banking relations, he said “Iran and Iraq can develop their cooperation and relations in different fields, such as energy, transportation, transit of goods, taking better advantage of Arvand Rud and linking the railways of the two countries to each other,” said the Iranian president. “Iran and Iraq can develop their cooperation and relations in different fields, such as energy, transportation, transit of goods, taking better advantage of Arvand Rud and linking the railways of the two countries to each other,” said the Iranian president.

With a special mention of the border markets and industrial parks situated at the border of the two nations, he further said, “we are ready to transfer our experiences and technical and engineering services to Iraq.”

Rouhani declared on the other hand, that Iran has always been in favour of a secure, autonomous and developed Iraq, adding further “fighting terrorists must continue until they are fully rooted out and Iran is ready to actively participate in Iraq’s reconstruction.”

“The message of this visit is that no bureaucracy and third country can affect the amicable, brotherly relations between Iran and Iraq,” he pointed out.

President Barham Salih of Iraq presented the view in the meeting “we consider the Iranian nation as our own family and Iran as our second country.” Drawing attention to the fact that Iran has welcomed many Iraqis at crucial junctures and been an ally to the neighbouring country in fighting terrorism, he said, “Iran has had a very remarkable role in defeating the ISIS.”

“We will never forget Iran’s brotherly backing of Iraqi people in hard days and we will stand by the people of Iran as well,” he continued. “We will never forget Iran’s brotherly backing of Iraqi people in hard days and we will stand by the people of Iran as well,” he said further.

Railways, Tourism, the environment sector, mining, and scientific and cultural cooperation are some of the key areas where the President of Iraq sought and welcomed the strengthening of relations between the two countries. President Rouhani reached Baghdad on Monday, leading a high-ranking delegation for a three-day state visit. His plan includes meeting Iraq’s president, prime minister and parliament speaker, along with visiting religious holy sites and a meeting with the top Iraqi Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

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