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Iran, Iraq issue joint statement

Tehran, May 19, IRNA-Iran and the Iraqi transitional government issued a joint statement in Baghdad on Thursday.

Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi arrived in Baghdad Tuesday at the head of a delegation on a three-day official visit to discuss avenues for consolidating friendly bilateral relations with Iraq.

Kharrazi said during his visit to Iraq he held constructive talks with senior officials of the country in a brotherly and friendly atmosphere.

Iran and Iraq stressed the importance of promoting the level of bilateral relations and cooperation in political, economic and security fields due to deep-rooted historical, cultural and religious ties between the two nations.

The sides agreed to set up Iran-Iraq joint high commission to be headed by Iran's First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Aref and Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.

Tehran and Baghdad laid an emphasis on Iraq's national unity, territorial sovereignty, stability and political independence and welcomed recent positive political developments in that country including holding broad-based elections, establishment of National Assembly and the transitional government.

They assessed such measures as major steps to establish stability in Iraq and the region and stressed continuation of political and democratic trend in Iraq based on the UN resolutions.

Iran welcomed efforts adopted by the Iraqi transitional government in inviting all Iraqi groups and tribes to participate in the ruling and safeguard unity and national solidarity and called for further cooperation and support of the neighboring states to this end.

The two states condemned all terrorist measures in Iraq and rejected efforts to attribute terrorism to Islam and Muslims. They stressed terrorism runs counter with Islamic values and principles.

The two countries highlighted the importance of providing help to the Iraqi people and government to establish stability and security and welcomed expansion of bilateral security cooperation.

They called for holding the second round of talks between ministers of Iraq neighboring states, saying such gesture will be in line with delegating the country's affairs to its forces and accelerating withdrawal of multi-national forces from Iraq in accordance with the UN resolutions.

The statement mandates the Iraqi interim government to adopt measures to release Iranian pilgrims who are in Iraqi prisoners upon orders by Iraqi prime minister.

Based on the statement, the sides have pledged to inaugurate the two countries' consul-general offices in Iraqi cities of Basra and Karbala and the Iranian cities of Khorramshahr and Kermanshah in two months.

An Iraqi delegation will be visiting Tehran within the next two months to hold final negotiations with Iranian officials in this regard.

Tehran and Baghdad also stressed trial of former Iraqi regime's officials in a fair court following war and anti-human crimes and military attack on the Iraqi, Iranian and Kuwaiti nations.

The Iranian and Iraqi officials condemned Zionist regime atrocities against the defenseless Palestinian nation and called for more international support to restore the Palestinians' rights.

... Payvand News - 5/19/05 ... --

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