Iran’s Zarif hails ongoing tour to Iraq

IRNA – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a series of Twitter messages elaborated on the details of his tour to Iraq, saying it is a pleasure to be back to Iraq.

“Always a pleasure to be back touring in #Iraq. Yesterday I had the honor to meet with PM @AdilAbdAlMahdi and FM @Maalhakim to discuss strategy on how to further expand bilateral relations–including trade. We also exchanged views on regional & int’l issues, such as #Yemen, #Syria,” Zarif Tweeted on Monday night regarding his visit with Iraqi counterpart and the prime minister.

He added “Additionally, I’ve had the good fortune to engage in fruitful exchange of thoughts with the head of #Iraq’s Reform and Reconstruction Alliance @Ammar_Alhakeem, as well as with prominent Iraqi leaders — from @AyadAllawi to friends from the Nasr and Sadrist coalitions.”

He noted, “Today, I, accompanied by 6 Iraqi ministers, addressed hundreds of participants at the Iran-Iraq Joint Trade Conference, exploring paths to significantly expand bilateral trade and investment. With implementation of shared vision, doubling of annual trade volume is on the horizon.”

He went on to say “as with my past visits, I’ve been honored to be able to make use of opportunity to engage with representatives of the many diverse actors in the rich mosaic of #Iraq; from Christians, Yezidis, Sabaeans, Turkmen, and Feyli Kurds to the Sunni Endowment.”

“Pleased to meet Parliament Speaker Mr. Al-Halbousi and engage in an extensive, constructive and friendly dialogue with him and 20 of his colleagues in #Iraq’s Council of Representatives,” he reiterated.

“Honored to have substantive meeting and dinner with President @BarhamSalih to discuss further cooperation and constructive engagement between our two countries. Iran and Iraq are determined to work together to promote a strong region.”

“After Sunday dinner in Baghdad with the leadership of the Reform Alliance, I had the pleasure of lunch today with the leadership of the Construction Alliance—the other major Iraqi coalition—to discuss bilateral and regional issues. Both parties cross ethnic & sectarian divides.”

“Separately, I had the pleasure of meeting with former Prime Minister Maliki and former Prime Minister Allavi—with members of his coalition, including former Speaker Salim al-Jabouri. My visit allows for engaging in dialogue with different political currents and leaders in Iraq.”

Meanwhile, in an exclusive interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) Zarif said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will have a trip to Iraq on March 11.