Iran-Iraq relations strategic: Official
Iranian First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri has described Iran-Iraq relations as strategic, saying the maintenance of mutual ties serves the interests of both nations, the Muslim world and regional countries.
Jahangiri made the remarks on Monday prior to his departure for neighboring Iraq, where he is scheduled to hold meetings with senior Iraqi officials during his stay.
The Iranian official said that Tehran seeks to expand economic relations with Baghdad in tandem with bilateral political ties.
He put the volume of trade transactions between Iran and Iraq at USD 12 billion anually.
Jahangiri said his three-day official visit comes at the invitation of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who paid a visit to Tehran in October.
Jahangiri is scheduled to sit down with Iraqi President Fuad Masum, al-Abadi, and Parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri as well as leaders of political parties in Iraq.
The Iranian official also plans to attend a session of the Iran-Iraq High Joint Commission, where he will sign several memoranda of understanding (MoUs).
He will also visit Iran’s specialized exhibition in Baghdad on Tuesday.
The Iranian official is also scheduled to meet with senior Iraqi clerics during his stay.
Jahangiri’s visit significant
Meanwhile, head of the Iraqi parliament’s Foreign Relations Committee Humam al-Hamoudi said Jahanjiri’s visit to Baghdad is highly important for the Iraqi people and government.
In an interview with IRNA on Monday, the Iraqi official attached importance to the bilateral cooperation between Tehran and Baghdad especially in the fight against terrorism and extremism.
He further said that Jahangiri’s talks with Iraqi officials will focus on terrorism and the crimes committed at the hands of extremist groups.
Jahangiri’s visit to Iraq comes as the country has witnessed a surge in terror operations over the past months, with the ISIL Takfiri group controlling large swathes of lands in the Arab nation.