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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran, Iraq FMs hold 1st round of talks

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, May 18, IRNA
Foreign ministers of Iran and Iraq discussed bilateral relations during the first round of their talks in Baghdad on Tuesday.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari welcomed his Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharrazi's long-awaiting visit to Baghdad stressing that the visit had a "great political message".

"This is the first visit to Iraq by the foreign minister of an Islamic states," Zebari said noting that the visit indicated the consolidation of relations between the two neighboring states.

Expressing hope that Kharrazi's visit would open new chapters in Tehran-Baghdad relations, Zebari said that Iran is the great neighbor of Iraq and Baghdad "needs Tehran's assistance." Among the world leaders, the Iraqi foreign minister stressed, It was only the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei who realized Iraq's problems and its situation.

Expressing satisfaction over his visit to Iraq, Kharrazi, for his part, said that the two capitals should try to revive the old roots of heir friendship which have been destroyed during the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Iran has always been by the side of the Iraqi nation during their dark days under Saddam's regime, Kharrazi noted adding, but Tehran did not also support US interference in Iraq or the way it toppled Saddam's regime.

The foreign minister also stressed that Tehran saw it its duty to support the present Iraqi government, which he said, had "its roots in the hearts of the Iraqi nation."
The Iranian foreign minister further noted that Iraq enjoyed great potentials and valuable manpower to overcome its current problems relying on its own capabilities.

He voiced Tehran's readiness to extend its "honest" support and cooperation to the nation of Iraq as well as its government.

Kharrazi expressed hope that all regional states would also support the newly-elected government of Iraq.

Noting that democracy was a "new experience" in Iraq, Kharrazi stressed that Tehran and Baghdad could play a key role in the region and in the Islamic world as well.

::IRNA No.009 18/05/2005 09:57 --End

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