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Iranian Vice President Meets Iraqi Officials in Baghdad

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, July 6 (ICANA) – The Iran's Vice President Mohammed Reza Rahimi has arrived in Baghdad at the head of a high-ranking delegation including four Iranian Ministers.
Wednesday, July 06, 2011 11:23:58 PM
Iranian Vice President Meets Iraqi Officials in Baghdad

Rahimi held talks with high-ranking Iraqi officials including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, President Jalal Talabani and the speaker of the parliament Osama Al Nujaifi.

During the visit, the Iranian ministers signed a number of agreements with their Iraqi counterparts. The agreements included, Health, Constructional, Educational and Financial deals.

At a joint press conference, Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki warmly welcomed Rahimi's visit. Maliki said the special cooperation committees which were previously formed have been activated to help expand bilateral relations. He added that Baghdad seeks to strengthen ties with all neighbors and invited the Iranian investors to invest in Iraq saying that Iraq's doors are now widely opened for the Iranian investment companies.

For his part, Rahimi said Iran fully backs the new Iraqi government, stressing that Tehran will do its best to further expand ties with Baghdad. He added that the Islamic Republic is determined to increase the value of trade exchanges with Iraq to 20 and then 30 billion dollars during two phases in the future. He said that in line with agreements between Tehran and Baghdad, Iran's gas will be transferred to Iraq and then to Syria and Lebanon.

Iraqi Ambassador to Iran Mohammad Majeed al-Sheikh had said Tuesday Tehran and Baghdad are set to discuss transferring Iran's natural gas to Europe via Iraq and Syria Iran has the world's second largest gas reserves after Russia.

Political analysts hold that Iraq's future is now in the hands of Iraqi people, and that Iraqi officials are leading the country in the right direction which attracted the foreign investors to invest in Iraq. Iran and Iraq have been steadily enhancing ties since the toppling of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.

This is the first visit for an Iranian high ranking official since the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Iraq in 2006.

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