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Iraq seeks enhanced ties with Iran

As Iraqi officials reach a power-sharing deal on the formation of a national unity government, Iraq’s newly elected parliament speaker stresses the importance of promoting all-out relations with Iran.

“Iraq seeks to establish special relations with Iran based on mutual respect and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs,” IRNA quoted Osama al-Nujaifi as speaking in a meeting with Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad Hassan Danaeifar on Sunday.

The Iraqi official called for the bolstering of political, economic and security cooperation with the Islamic Republic.

The Iranian ambassador, for his part, said security and stability of countries in the Middle East is incorporated with each other, and added that as a result, stability in Iran depends on stability and security in neighboring Iraq and in the entire region.

After an eight-month political deadlock, Iraq’s main factions reached an agreement on Wednesday based on which the Iraqi incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will stay in office for another term, while Jalal Talabani from the Kurdish alliance will remain president.

The Iraqi premier now has a month to allocate ministerial posts.

In a Thursday session, Iraqi lawmakers elected al-Nujaifi as parliament speaker. The post is to be held by former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi’s al-Iraqiya bloc while Allawi will head a council of strategic policies.

On Friday, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani described the final agreement of Iraqi factions on forming a national unity government as “smart” and hoped that it would be a major step toward a brighter future for Iraq.

“Many countries that are active in the international arena took broad measures to sabotage the natural process of the formation of the Iraqi government and parliament, but these plots were foiled by the consensus of Iraqi officials and this will have a positive impact on the future of Iraq,” Larijani told his newly-elected Iraqi counterpart in a telephone conversation.

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