Iran FM holds extensive talks in Baghdad

August 29, 2021 - 19:9

TEHRAN – In his foreign trip as foreign minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian held several meetings with Iraqi and non-Iraqi officials during his stay in Baghdad, where a regional summit was held with the participation of Iran. 

Heading a political and parliamentarian delegation, the new Iranian foreign minister arrived in Baghdad on Saturday and was received by his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hossein. Upon his arrival, he visited the place where Iran’s top commander General Qassem Soleimani and his Iraqi comrade Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes were assassinated in an American drone strike in early 2020. After paying homage, Abdollahian vowed to legally pursue the matter. 

In Baghdad, the top Iranian diplomat met with several dignitaries and participated in the Baghdad regional summit. Before the summit, he welcomed the Iraqi initiative but said that Syria should have been invited to the summit. Abdollahian said Iran embraces any regional initiative by Iraqi officials which gets regional countries on board.

“We believe that Syria, as one of Iraq’s important neighboring countries, should have been invited to this meeting, too” said the top diplomat before leaving Tehran for Baghdad.

“Of course, we are in contact and holding consultations with the Syrian leader on security and sustainable development in the region, and we will have direct consultations with Damascus on the Baghdad conference and the importance of the regional countries’ key role in whatever regional initiative,” he added.

During the summit, expressed regret that Syria was not attending the summit. “I would like to emphasize the role and support of regional nations in stabilizing and resorting security to Iraq including the friendly and brotherly country of the Syrian Arab Republic. I would like to express regret that Syria is not attending this summit,” Abdollahian told the Baghdad summit. 

In his summit speech, the Iranian foreign minister underlined Iran’s policy of fostering regional cooperation. “This meeting, with regional countries in attendance, confirms the efforts of the Republic of Iraq in creating areas for cooperation and interaction among the countries of the region, and I hope that, through these meetings, we can make a prosperous, developed and free region,” he said, adding, “Today, Iraq is playing an important role in the region thanks to its constructive efforts and vision. The Islamic Republic of Iran was one of the first regional countries to recognize the new Iraq and to develop its political, economic and trade ties with Iraq by supporting the political processes in this country.”

Abdollahian noted, “The new Iraq, liberated from terrorism, today needs internal reconstruction and strengthening, and the expansion of cooperation in the region. The Islamic Republic of Iran, while supporting the stability, security, independence, territorial integrity, dignity, authority and promotion of Iraq's regional and international status, declares its readiness to develop bilateral and regional cooperation. In recent years, trade between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Iraq has reached more than 12 billion dollars. The existence of eight official active border crossings between the two countries and the continuation of trade exchanges via these crossings, even despite the Coronavirus pandemic, indicate the economic entanglement of the two nations. In recent years, Iran has made a significant contribution to the development of Iraq's economic and trade relations by exporting technical and engineering services, gas and electricity.”

He pointed out, “The rise of Daesh was one of the most important dangers faced by the region and left irreparable damage. Unfortunately, Iraq has suffered a lot from the emergence of terrorist groups. Were it not for the will of the Iraqi people, the support of the honorable religious authority and the convergence of the Iraqi people from all walks of life, it would not have been clear what would happen to Iraq and other regional countries and how deeply the region and the world would be endangered by terrorist threats.”

Underlining Iran’s aid to Iraq, Abdollahian said, “The Islamic Republic of Iran rushed to the aid of the friendly and brotherly country of Iraq in its fight against terrorism and did not withhold any assistance in this direction. The Iraqi people, parties, various groups and the Iraqi government have sacrificed thousands of lives for independence and the fight against terrorism. However, the US government committed a heinous crime and martyred two fighters of the anti-Takfiri and counterterrorism front, Martyr Sardar Soleimani and Martyr Abu Mohandi Al-Mohandes. Not only did the US not bring peace and security to the people of this region, but it’s the main cause of insecurity, and this is clearly visible in many countries in the region.”

He further said, “The fate of the governments and nations of this region are intertwined according to common religious and cultural, traditional, historical and geographical interests. The Islamic Republic of Iran has always emphasized that peace is possible only through dialogue and negotiation within the region and hopes that regional nations will agree that security will only be achieved through mutual trust, reliance on national capabilities, strengthening relations and good neighborliness as well as through the non-intervention of extra-regional governments. This common belief can pave the way for many joint political, economic and cultural efforts in the region and guarantee the grounds for all-round growth and development of regional countries in the shadow of common and lasting security and by utilizing their God-given wealth.”

The top Iranian diplomat added, “Our region has all the religious, cultural and civilizational characteristics as well as material and spiritual capacities for regional cooperation and convergence, but unfortunately, due to foreign interventions and the dominance of security-oriented ideas, it has many problems, including war, instability and insecurity.”

The Iranian foreign minister also expressed support for the Iraqi government and people, underlining that Iran welcomes Iraq’s role in promoting dialogue.

During his stay in Baghdad, Abdollahian met with a number of Iraqi leaders including President Barham Salih, Parliament Speaker Mohammad al-Halbousi, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, and Fuad Hussein. In his meeting with Salih, Abdollahian while conveying the Iranian president’s greetings and congratulating the Iraqi president on holding the Baghdad summit successfully, reiterated the Islamic Republic of Iran’s support for independence, national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq.

During the meeting, Salih, in turn, thanked the Iranian delegation for participating in the regional summit for cooperation and partnership. He said the Iranian foreign minister choosing Iraq for his first foreign visit is significant and hailed Iran for its support for Iraq.

The Iranian foreign minister and the Iraqi president also exchanged views on other topics, including regional developments, economic and trade cooperation among regional countries and the necessity for the expansion of economic ties between the two countries.

Abdollahian has also sat down with Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi as the top Iranian diplomat continued his meetings with high-ranking Baghdad officials on the sidelines of the Baghdad regional summit.

In the meeting, Amir Abdollahian congratulated the top parliamentarian on the successful holding of the summit, and once again extended Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf’s invitation to al-Halbousi, according to a statement by the Iranian foreign ministry. 

Also, given the upcoming Iraqi parliamentary election, Amir Abdollahian highlighted Tehran’s support for an early legislative election as an arena for the manifestation of the Iraqi people’s will and demands.

The Iraqi parliament speaker, in turn, congratulated Amir Abdollahina on his appointment as Iran’s foreign minister, and announced the Iraqi parliament’s readiness to further enhance mutual relations.

Abdollahian and Iraqi Premier Mustafa al-Kadhimi have exchanged views on the latest developments regarding Tehran-Baghdad relations on all fronts.

During the talks, which were part of Amri Abdollahian’s meetings on the sidelines of a regional summit in Baghdad, the top Iranian diplomat conveyed Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s greetings to al-Kadhimi and congratulated him on the successful holding of the Baghdad summit.

Amir Abdollahian said his presence at the event as Iran’s representative indicated Tehran’s firm resolve to support Iraq.

The two sides also discussed bilateral economic projects, which would benefit both sides, as well as Iranians’ pilgrimage to holy sites in Iraq during Arbaeen.

The Iraqi prime minister, in turn, described good-neighborliness as important and called Tehran-Baghdad relations strategic.

Al-Kadhimi also appreciated Iran’s constructive and lasting role in supporting Iraq as well as the presence of Iran’s high-ranking delegation in the Baghdad regional summit.

Abdollahian also met foreign leaders attending the Baghdad summit. Abdollahian sat down with his Kuwaiti counterpart Ahmed Nasser al-Mohammed Al-Sabah on the sidelines of the Baghdad summit. 

In the meeting, the top Iranian diplomat thanked his opposite number for taking part, on behalf of the Kuwaiti Emir, in the swearing-in ceremony of new Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, and discussed with him issues of mutual interest.

In the meeting, Amir Abdollahian reviewed Iran-Kuwait relations in different political and economic areas, and highlighted the need to further enhance mutual ties and implement the agreements already reached between the two countries.

He added Iran stands ready to forge closer cooperation with Kuwait.

Amir Abdollahian expounded on the Raisi administration’s stance on good neighborliness as well as on the significance of cooperation between regional countries, voicing support for whatever move aimed at activating the Joint Iran-Kuwait Economic Cooperation Commission by utilizing innovative approaches.

The top Kuwaiti diplomat, in turn, conveyed the Kuwaiti Emir’s greetings to President Raisi.

He enumerated the necessities of the region from different perspectives with a view towards the future, and elaborated on his viewpoints with regards to the need for boosting mutual relations and regulating them within the framework of the joint cooperation commission.

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