Prime minister of Iraqi Kurdistan arrives in Tehran

December 20, 2009 - 0:0

TEHRAN -- Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Barham Salih arrived in Tehran on Saturday morning and met with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani.

A number of KRG ministers and officials are accompanying Salih in his first visit to Tehran as the KRG prime minister.
The promotion of ties between Iran and the KRG, Kurdish leaders’ role in efforts to establish peace and security in Iraq, and issues facing the region are high on the agenda of the negotiations.
The consolidation of the historical ties between Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan is one of the main aims of Salih’s trip.
Salih is also scheduled to meet President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili, and Expediency Chairman Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
-------- Terrorists operating in Iraq are enemies of democracy
During his meeting with Salih on Saturday, the Iranian foreign minister said that the perpetrators of the recent terrorist acts in Iraq are the enemies of the nation, freedom, and democracy.
“We condemn these crimes, and we are sure that the Iraqi nation, through their determination, will defeat the terrorists who have targeted the security, stability, and solidarity of Iraq,” Mottaki said.
He expressed hope that the upcoming parliamentary election in Iraq would be held successfully, saying, “Some domestic and foreign elements in Iraq, despite their feigned loyalty to the slogan of democracy, are in practice opposed to the political development of Iraq.”
Iran and the Kurdistan Regional Government should take full advantage of all their potential in order to realize the goal of boosting bilateral trade to $5 billion in the commerce, transit, communications, tourism, oil, and gas sectors, Mottaki suggested.
Salih stated that Iraq’s relations with Iran are very important.
“We are interested in expanding our relations with Iran in the political, economic, and cultural spheres,” he said.
The Kurdistan region can function as a “connecting bridge” between Iraq and Iran, he added.
----------Solidarity among Iraqi groups is a historic necessity
At a separate meeting with the KRG prime minister on Saturday evening, the Iranian parliament speaker said that in the current situation, solidarity among the various Iraqi groups is a historic necessity.
Pointing to the cultural, historical, and religious affinities shared by the two countries, Larijani called for the expansion of bilateral ties.
He also stressed the need to develop bilateral economic relations, especially in the areas of banking and insurance.
Salih said that Iraqi Kurdistan regards its relations with Iran as extremely importan