Iraqi FM says seems ahead to boosting ties, cooperation with Iran

BAGHDAD, March 10 (Xinhua) — Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Hakim said on Sunday that Iraq is looking forward to boosting ties and promoting cooperation in various fields with neighboring Iran.

Al-Hakim’s comments came during his meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mohammed Javad Zarif, who is in Iraq to prepare for the visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday.

“The two discussed relations between Baghdad and Tehran,” said a statement by the Iraqi Foreign Ministry.

Their discussions addressed various issues and regional challenges to achieve security and stability in the region, the statement said.

At the joint press conference after the meeting, Zarif said Iran is seeking “to assist Iraqi reconstruction after the honorable victory against terrorism.”

“We are proud to stand by Iraq in the war against terrorism. Iran and Iraq represent the pillars of regional security,” he told reporters.

The Iranian minister also thanked the people and government of Iraq for “rejecting the illegitimate sanctions” imposed by the United States.

Rouhani will visit Iraq on Monday at the invitation of his Iraqi counterpart Barham Salih to discuss bilateral ties.

The visit comes as the United States has been exerting sanctions on Iran’s oil industry and its banking and transport sectors, after Washington pulled out from the 2015 landmark nuclear deal last May.