Iran: Iraq’s PM visit to Iran a turning point Visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki conferred yesterday with Chairman of Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. In the meeting, Rafsanjani emphasized the importance of Iraq’s national unity and territorial integration. He said, "National reconciliation plan in Iraq is a positive step and its achievements would benefit the whole region." Expressing concern over existing insecurity in Iraq, EC chairman blamed occupiers for instability and said the Iraqis can solve their own problems with relying on their domestic potentials. He added Iraq’s neighboring countries can benefit from security and stability in Iraq and must do their utmost to help Iraqi people and government. Emphasizing the Iraqi government and nation’s intention to expand and consolidate ties with Iran, Nuri al-Maliki said, "Iraq wants a relation upon mutual understanding free from tension and interference with Iran." Referring to Iraq problems, al-Maliki said, "Iraqi government is trying to take full control on security matters by its own armed forces to decrease its reliance on multi national forces." Al-Maliki called economic relations with Iran very important and added, strengthening cooperation in the fields of oil, agriculture, water and electricity have been under special attention in this visit. During the trip, he also said "our policy is non-interference in domestic affairs of neighboring countries, respecting mutual interests and trying to solve remaining problems of the deposed regime ( of Saddam Hussein)." He stressed that establishment of security in Iraq is not only in benefit of Iraqi people, but in benefit of all regional countries. Regarding the members of Mujahedeen Khalq Organization (MKO), who are still in Iraq, al-Maliki said they have six months time to leave Iraq. Iran welcomed Iraqi National Reconciliation Plan at the final joint press communique here at the end of official visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. In the joint communique, which was released on Wednesday evening, Tehran welcomed Iraqi government’s efforts, especially announcing national reconciliation plan by Nuri al-Maliki to invite all Iraqi groups to participate actively in the political process of the country. Tehran also welcomed the recent Iraqi government decision on expelling terrorist group of Mujahedeen Khalq Organization (MKO) from Iraq and called it a positive step in deepening ties between the two neighboring countries. Three Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) were signed here on Wednesday evening. Cooperation between Iran’s Interior Ministry and Iraqi Immigration Ministry to facilitate affairs of both countries citizens was the first MoU signed between Iran’s Interior Minister Mostafa Pour Mohammadi and the Iraqi minister. The second MoU was about security cooperation and exchanging information which was signed by Iran’s Intelligence Minister Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Eje’ie and Iraqi National Security Advisor Mwaffaq al-Rabiei. The third agreement was about development and expansion of cooperation between the two countries which was signed by Iran’s First Vice-President Parviz Davoudi and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.
First Vice-President Parviz Davoudi called Iraqi PM visit to Tehran as a turning point in bilateral relations adding the positive and important outcome of the visit will be seen soon.
After signing ceremony of the three MoUs, Davoudi said ties between the two countries have deep roots in commonalities and both countries intend to expand ties in different political, economic, social and cultural fields.
He said Iran supports fully al-Maliki government adding, "We had good discussions concerning the latest situation in Iraq, about establishment of stability and security and solving problems in that country."
ArabicNews.com – September 14, 2006