TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran is ready to further boost bilateral relation and take part in reconstruction of Iraq’s battered infrastructure, said First Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri in a meeting with visiting Iraqi prime minister on Wednesday.
Jahangiri told Iraqi Nouri al-Maleki that Iran, given its great scientific and economic potential, is ready to help rebuild its western neighbor which has suffered long years of US-led occupation and militant violence.
He said the two sides have signed agreements in the areas of oil and gas, power transfer, banking exchanges, railway development and housing, expressing hope that maleki’s visit could pave the way for implementation of previous accords.
Maliki, for his part, welcomed the contribution of Iranian firms to the reconstruction of his country, and underlined the need for security cooperation between Iran and Iraq in the fight against terrorism in the region.
“Despite acheivements we have had in the field of oil, gas and energy, we still need Iranian companies,” he said.
According to a recently published report, Iran exported $3.577 billion worth of commodities to Iraq in the last seven months of 2013, making it the biggest market for Iran’s non-oil exports, with both sides saying there is no ceiling on the volume of bilateral trade.
FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM
Iran’s vice president said that terrorist groups, nurtured by colonial powers, seek to disturb peace in the Middle East and to harm regional countries.
The Iraqi premier said that Tehran and Baghdad share the same position on Syria, and called for a political settlement for the turmoil in the Arab country.
Both Iran and Iraq believe that the ground should be prepared for future elections in Syria in such a way that the people of this country would actively participate in the election and choose their president and decide whether President Bashar al-Assad should remain in power or not.
They also argue that foreign interference would only exacerbate the crisis, and that national dialogue in which different political and ethnic groups are represented can be a real remedy for the conflict that has turned into a full-fledged civil war.
COOPERATION TO TACKLE DUST STORMS
Jahangiri asked Iraqi officials to take serious measures to address the problem of dust storms which has affected people in both countries.
The Iraqi prime minister, too, said that Baghdad was both willing and interested in cooperation with Iran in encountering the environmental hazard.
More than two-thirds of Iraq’s lands are rapidly turning to desert as a result of years of lingering draught, as just 16 percent of the country remains arable.
Massive dust storms sweep across the western provinces of Iran and at time beyond.
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