Iraqi FM: Iran, Iraq to sign permanent peace treaty
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
Ilam, May 18, IRNA
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said here Tuesday that the long duration of acrimonious relations between Iraq and Iran is now over and the two nations will sign a peace treaty soon.
The Iraq State Television quoted Zebari as saying that Iran is an important and influential country in the region. "We are aware of this act and are keen on establishing economic, political and military relations with Tehran."
The bilateral ties will soon be stirred towards a strategic, constructive and beneficial cooperation. The holding of Joint Iran-Iraq Working Committee will herald a new chapter in mutual relations, the Iraqi foreign minister added.
"Iraq, following the ouster of Saddam Hossein, entered a period of friendship and peace with Tehran."
On the infiltration of armed men into Iraq, he said all aspect of the relations will be discussed during Iranian Foreign Minister's visit to Baghdad.
He added that the political message of Kharrazi's trip to Iraq will be very important because of its timing which will be a memorable event for Iraqis.
The two countries will hold more meeting in the future. "The travel to religious sites will also be discussed in this round of talks with Iran," Zebari said.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani called here last week on Tehran to scrap the debt owed to it by Iraq.
In an interview with the Jordanian daily 'Alghad' also strongly rejected allegation of Iran meddling in Iraqi internal affairs. "Iran like other Iran neighboring states is concerned about Iraqi situation."
The two states have many common interests and Iran is the first nation which recognized the Iraqi Interim Government and praised the democratic election in the country, Talabani added.
He also referred the recent visit from Iran adding that Iranian officials stressed on expansion of friendly ties between Tehran and Baghdad.
The daily quoted him as saying that the Iraqi government policy is to forge cordial relations with Tehran.
Iran opened its borders to the flood of the Iraqi refugees, fleeing the Baath regime's ruthless crackdown which followed after the Kurds in northern Iraq and Shiites in the country's south had risen up against Saddam at the end of the first Persian Gulf war in 1991.
Iran has refuted accusations of interference in Iraq's affairs, stressing that the charge was being made by 'a few individuals with a bad record'.
Tehran says the accusations merit little significance since they do not reflect an official stance.
Tehran and Baghdad however are still being haunted by a destructive war which the two countries fought between 1980 and 1988 after Saddam invaded Iran.
::IRNA No.003 18/05/2005 02:03 --End
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