Salehi Describes Expansion of Ties with Neighbors “Iran’s Priority”

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi underlined that development of relations with all the neighboring states, including Iraq, is a main priority in Tehran’s foreign policy.

Speaking at a meeting with Iraqi Kurdistan’s Regional Government (KRG) President Massoud Barzani here in Tehran on Saturday, Salehi underlined the Iranian government’s political will to further expand relations with the neighboring countries.

He noted the neighborly relations and the two nations’ historical, cultural and religious bonds and commonalities, and voiced Tehran’s preparedness to further bolster cooperation with Iraq’s Kurdistan region in all the various grounds.

The Iranian foreign minister cited economy, trade, culture, bilateral and multilateral goods and passenger transit, border affairs, reciprocal visits by the two countries’ nations, developmental and technical issues as among proper areas for expanding ties and cooperation between Iran and Iraq’s Kurdistan region.

Also during the meeting, Barzani voiced pleasure in his visit to Iran, and thanked Iran’s aid and assistance to the Iraqi people in hard times.

He further pointed to the abundant grounds existing for the further broadening of ties and cooperation between the two sides, and said Kurdistan attaches priority to cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran as an important neighbor.

The KRG president laid emphasis on the importance of security at the two sides’ common borders, and reiterated that Iraq’s Kurdistan region is highly eager to growingly increase all-out cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Barzani, heading a high-ranking delegation arrived in Tehran on Saturday. The KRG’s health and energy ministers, several ranking political officials as well as governor-generals of Iraq’s Arbil and Suleimaniyeh provinces are accompanying President Barzani during the three-day trip.

Barzani is also due to meet with other senior Islamic Republic officials, including The Leader Of Islamic Ummah And Oppressed People Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Saeed Jalili to discuss bilateral ties and regional developments.

Expansion of political, economic and trade ties and cooperation as well as enhanced relations between the two sides’ neighboring provinces are atop the agenda of talks between the KRG president and Iranian officials.

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