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Iraqi Premier winds up visit to Iran


Tehran, July 20, IRNA-Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari left Tehran for Baghdad Tuesday evening after he was officially seen off by First Vice-President Mohammad reza Aref at Sa'dabad Cultural Complex.

Al-Jaafari arrived in Tehran on Saturday at the head of a high-ranking delegation which included several ministers.

Upon arrival in Tehran, al-Jaafari visited the mausoleum of the Founder of the Islamic Republic, the late Imam Khomeini and paid tribute to him by laying a wreath on his tomb.

He then hold official talks with Aref on Saturday evening during which the latter stressed that the future of Iraq belongs to all Iraqi people, including the minorities.

"What the Iraqi people need more than anything else at this juncture, is unity, solidarity, peace, security and integrity," Aref added.

Al-Jaafari, for his part, pointed to great losses inflicted on the region in general and the Iranian nation in particular by Saddam.

photo: ISNA

Later on Monday, al-Jaafari and his delegation met with the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

During the meeting held in the holy city of Mashhad, the Supreme Leader expressed satisfaction over formation of a government elected by Iraqi people.

Al-Jaafari, too, hoped his visit will wipe out the bitter memory of the stained relations between the two countries and open a new chapter in the historical relations between the two brotherly nations.

The Iraqi PM further met with president-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here Monday who stressed closer ties between the two nations.

In a meeting with the Chairman of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Sunday, the Iranian official stressed the importance of establishment of security in Iraq.

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, too, discussed issues of mutual interest as well as avenues to bolster bilateral ties with the Iraqi prime minister on Sunday.

During the meeting, al-Jaafari expressed hope that Iran and Iraq would consolidate cooperation on issues of mutual interest through consultations.

Al-Jaafari was also received by Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi on Monday.

The two officials reviewed issues of judicial importance and underlined the need for establishment of security in the war-torn Iraq.

At the conclusion of his meetings in Iran, the Iraqi prime minister and Aref took part in a press conference to outline the outcome of the Iraqi delegation's visit to Iran.

During al-Jaafari's visit some documents on bilateral cooperation were inked by the two countries.

Al-Jaafari was appointed as Iraq's prime minister on April 7, 2005 by Iraqi National Assembly.

This was the first official visit of an Iraqi prime minister to Tehran after the fall of Saddam.

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