Publishe Date: 2:04 PM - 5/19/2014 | Print

FM Zarif: Improvement of Iran-Iraq Ties Serves Interests of Entire Region

Politics - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a meeting with Iraqi Judiciary Chief Medhat Al-Mahmoud called for enhanced relations between the two countries, reiterating that good and close ties between the two Muslim neighboring nations serve the interests of the two nations and the entire region.

"Exchange of delegations between the two countries at high levels as well as improvement of relations between the two countries in different economic, trade and technical fields indicate that there is a strong will to this end," Zarif said in Tehran on Monday, adding that such intimate ties between Tehran and Baghdad serve the interests of the regional states.

He referred to the profound and strong bonds between the two nations, and said, "Moving on the path of strategic relations is highly important."

Zarif also felicitated the Iraqi nation and government on the successful parliamentary elections in the country, and said he was pleased to see that Iraqi people have stepped onto the path of national unity.

Yesterday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a meeting with Al-Mahmoud extended Tehran's full support for the new government in the country, and said the recent parliamentary elections indicated institutionalized democracy in Iraq.

"These elections showed that democracy has been institutionalized in Iraq," President Rouhani said during the meeting on Sunday.

He underlined that the successful elections in Iraq and people's high turnout at the polls gladdened the Iranian nation and officials.

"We are happy that under such conditions that the terrorists wanted to show Iraq's electoral atmosphere as unstable, the Iraqi people and government took a brave step forward and gave a resolute response to cynics and enemies of their interests by showing that they will not be influenced by their threats," President Rouhani said.

The Iraqi judiciary chief, for his part, thanked President Rouhani for supporting Iraq's parliamentary elections, and said, "Iran's positive and civilized role in protecting and promoting peace, stability and security in the region is a source of joy and happiness to the Iraqi nation."

Al-Mahmoud pointed to the failure of terrorists in stopping or disturbing Iraq's parliamentary elections, and said, "The recent elections are a clear evidence of the Iraqi people's inclination towards democracy while maintaining their old religious values and it showed that there is no contradiction between Islam and democracy."

The Iraqi judiciary chief arrived here in Tehran on Saturday. On Sunday, he has also met with Judiciary Chief Sadeq Amoli Larijani.

Iran and Iraq have enjoyed growing ties ever since the overthrow of the former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, during the 2003 US invasion of the Muslim country.

The recent ballot in Iraq was conducted under an intensive security dragnet, and it passed largely without incident, despite weeks of rising violence as the poll approached.

The election was hailed as a nation-building step more than two years after the last US forces left the country, lauding homegrown leaders as custodians of a new democracy.

The incumbent leader, Nouri al-Maliki, who is standing for a third term as prime minister, remains a front-runner to eventually form a coalition government.

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