Iran’s Zarif elaborates on Iraq’s tour meetings

IRNA – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a message expounded on the details of his meetings in Iraq.

“Iraq State Visit, Days 2-3: Met with religious, academic and tribal leaders in Baghdad, Karbala and Najaf; along with President @HassanRouhani,” Zarif tweeted on Wednesday.

“In Najaf, visited and conferred with four prominent religious authorities, including Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani,” he added.

Zarif arrived in Baghdad late on Saturday at the head of a high-ranking delegation.

Zarif prepared arrangements for President Hassan Rouhani’s official visit to the neighboring state.
President Rouhani arrived in Baghdad earlier on Monday.

President Rouhani’s visit to Iraq is taking place at the official invitation of his counterpart Barham Salih.

Exploring avenues for promoting bilateral relations in the political, economic and cultural fields are among the main objectives of the Iranian president’s official visit to Iraq.

Both countries on Tuesday released a final statement in which they have agreed on no-fee visas, construction of border railway connecting the two countries, establishing joint industrial parks, oil and gas cooperation as well as dredging a border river.

The Iranian and Iraqi authorities discussed and signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on issues such as oil, trade, health and rail transit via Shalamcheh-Basra.

The railroad, some 35 kilometers long, connects the Iranian border town of Shalamcheh to the Iraqi city of Basra. The route is meant to further speed up bilateral export and import in a bid to rapidly reach the target of 20 billion dollars of annual trade volume. It could also significantly ease and facilitate tourism between the two neighbors.