Iran, Iraq Determined to Expand Ties
EghtesadOnline: Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi in Tehran on Sunday where both sides expressed determination to promote bilateral ties in all sectors.
Al-Kadhimi said relations with Iran is of special importance to Iraq, stressing Baghdad’s will to expand the level of ties in line with the interests of both nations.
He expressed appreciation over Iran’s support for the people and government of Iraq in the fight against terrorism.
“Iran stood by the Iraqi nation from the first moment to combat the [self-styled] Islamic State terrorist group, and the people of Iraq will always be thankful for the support,” he said in a joint press conference with Raeisi, President.ir reported.
The premier also said Baghdad’s policy toward Iran is “consistent and steadfast”, and that the government and people of Iraq will stand beside the Iranian government and nation in all arenas.
Raeisi said Tehran-Baghdad relations go beyond neighborhood and the two nations are linked by stronger bonds from their hearts and beliefs.
“Despite enemies’ wishes, relations between Iran and Iraq will improve day by day,” he said.
He added that closer ties between the two neighbors can also increase their power to play a role in regional and international spheres.
In the meeting, they also stressed the need to develop rail connections, including the Shalamcheh-Basra railway, as well as promoting financial and monetary relations, according to Raeisi.
Pointing to the approach of Arbaeen commemorations, one of the largest annual gatherings of Muslims in the world, the president highlighted the importance of protecting pilgrims’ health amid the spread of the coronavirus disease as a top priority.
“Nevertheless, the Iraqi prime minister has vowed to increase the admission of pilgrims as much as possible,” he said, appreciating Iraq for the visa waiver plan.
Pilgrims in massive numbers converge on the Iraqi city of Karbala to perform Arbaeen rituals in commemoration of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia Imam, who was martyred in the Battle of Karbala in the 7th century.