EghtesadOnline: Relations with Iran are highly crucial for Baghdad, Iraqi President Barham Salih said, ahead of President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to the Arab country.
Speaking to Iraqi media, Salih reiterated that his country’s interest lies in establishing and maintaining good ties with Tehran.
“I have announced to all countries to which I have traveled that Iraq’s interests lie in having very good ties with Iran; I intentionally repeated this phrase,” ISNA quoted him as saying, citing Alforat News.
He highlighted the fact that Iran has offered refuge both to the Iraqi opponents of the government of former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, and those who were displaced by the war waged by the self-styled Islamic State terror group and provided substantial help to Iraqi forces fighting IS, according to Financial Tribune.
“We have 1,400 kilometers of common border with Iran and the two nations share cultural and social bonds,” he added.
Salih pointed to his recent visit to Iran where he had intensive talks with Iranian officials on various issues, stressing that Rouhani’s upcoming trip would be of great significance.
“We need to remind ourselves and the world of the importance of ties with Iran,” he said.
Salih emphasized that Baghdad’s relations with Tehran will not harm their ties with Persian Gulf Arab states or any other country, but will be helpful for the Iraqi nation and all concerned parties.
“Iraq can act as a bridge to help develop a better rapport among regional countries and this will be beneficial for all,” he said.
The newly established Iraqi government has been making efforts to keep balanced ties with the world, avoiding entanglement in other countries’ conflicts.
“Iraq wanted to maintain balanced relations with all its neighbors and the international community,” Salih had earlier said.
Baghdad has made strong efforts to preserve its relations with its non-Arab neighbor Iran from which it imports natural gas and electricity as well as a wide range of goods.