ambassador Masjedi and PM Kadhimi hold talks on banking cooperation, Khorramshahr-Basra railway project and issuing visa for the two countries’ nationals

Iranian diplomat meets new Iraqi PM

May 10, 2020 - 20:8

TEHRAN - Iraj Masjedi, the Iranian ambassador to Iraq, met with new Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Saturday as he chaired the first meeting of his cabinet.

“In the meeting with Mr. Kadhimi, bilateral cooperation, continuation of actions regarding the 1975 Algiers Agreement, banking cooperation, Khorramshahr-Basra railway and visa for the two countries’ citizens were discussed,” Masjedi said in a tweet.

He added that the Iraqi prime minister praised Iran’s efforts in the fight against Daesh- also called ISIS or ISIL.

“Kadhimi considered Iran and Iraq as two friendly and brotherly countries,” the ambassador noted in his tweet.

Kadhimi also held a separate meeting with Douglas A. Silliman, the United States’ ambassador to Iraq.

In the meeting, Al-Kadhimi told the American ambassador that Iraq would not be used for settling accounts nor as a springboard to attack any neighboring or friendly country, Press TV reported.

He also highlighted the necessity for maintaining regional security and keeping the region away from dangers.

The U.S. ambassador, in turn, claimed that Washington will support Iraq and is ready to help the country both to settle its economic woes and to counter the coronavirus pandemic.

The meeting came against the backdrop of calls by various Iraqi groups and figures for the immediate expulsion of American troops from the Arab country.

Kadhimi formally took office early Thursday after parliament approved a partial cabinet, taking the reins amid a fiscal crisis and a health pandemic.

A total of 255 of parliament’s 329 members took part in the vote, which was scheduled to take place at 9:00 pm local but began well after midnight after last-minute changes to appease political parties, AFP reported.

They approved 15 ministers out of a prospective 22-seat cabinet, with seven ministries still empty.

Kadhimi was nominated in April, months after his predecessor Adel Abdel Mahdi stepped down – the first time a premier has resigned before the end of his term since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

The new government is set to hold early elections, but Kadhimi admitted it would face a litany of other challenges: navigating an economic crisis spurred by oil price crashes and the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

“I am honored and privileged to be charged with forming the government during the transitional period and having to deal with the current crises that only exacerbated since the overthrow of the authoritarian regime in 2003,” he told gathered MPs.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has congratulated Iraq for succeeding to form a new government. 

“Congratulations to Prime Minister @MAKadhimi, his Cabinet, the Parliament and most importantly the people of Iraq for success in forming a new Government,” Zarif tweeted on Thursday.

“Iran always stands with the Iraqi people and their choice of administration,” he added.

NA/PA

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