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Iranian President receives Iraqi KDP leader

Tehran, Sept 25, IRNA -- President Mohammad Khatami on Saturday held talks with leader of Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Masoud Barzani on Tehran-Baghdad relations.

At the meeting, President Khatami said that Iraqi people deserve the right to reach social progress and live in peace and security and called for exchange of views between officials from the two countries for the cause of peace and stability.

President Khatami expressed hope that with the withdrawal of foreign troops, national sovereignty will be established in Iraq.

He called for avoiding disunity and stressed the need for all the political parties from different ethnic groups to foster unity.

"We had stood by you in the hard times (under Saddam) and we would help you develop peace and security and social progress," President Khatami declared.

"Insecurity in Iraq will have negative impacts on Iran-Iraq relations," he said.

Pointing to the background of Iran-Iraq relations, he said that Iran has concerns about lack of peace and security in Iraq and Iran believes that the situation should be directed towards normalcy in Iraq to hold democratic election in the country as soon as possible. All Iraqi people, Shia and Sunni, should contribute to peace and security and administration of the country, he said.

President Khatami said that foreign troops are the reason for inciting the terrorist actions and that Iran respects the logical stance of Iraqi leader Ayatollah Ali Sistani and his eminency's great role in Iraqi peace and security.

The president reiterated the decisive role of democratic election process to bring democracy, law and order to Iraq.

President Khatami called for developing economic and commercial relations between the two countries.

For his part, Barzani appreciated Iran's contribution to the cause of peace and security in Iraq and said that all Iraqi officials are willing to develop good neighborly relations with Iran.

"Regional states should live together thanks to their common culture and history and also work together to usher in progress and development," he said.

Barzani emphasized the need for national solidarity among different Iraqi ethnic groups and said that occupation will come to an end and the Kurds and the Shia Muslims will work together to lead for prosperity and rebuild a new Iraq respecting territorial integrity and national sovereignty.

The KDP leader called for developing commercial relations between the two countries and Iran's presence in the process of Iraqi social development and progress.

... Payvand News - 9//26/04 ... --

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