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Iraqi president arrives in Tehran

Tehran, Nov 21, IRNA-Iraqi President Jalal Talabani arrived here Monday at the head of a high-ranking political and economic delegation for an official visit.

Talabani was welcomed by Minister of Industries and Mines Ali-Reza Tahmasbi at Tehran International Mehrabad Airport.

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is to extend an official welcome to his Iraqi counterpart within few hours after which the two president will hold first round of talks.

While in Tehran, the Iraqi president is scheduled to discuss bilateral relations and key developments in the region and the Middle East with senior Iranian officials including Chairman of the Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Secretary of Supreme National Security Council Ali Larijani and Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki.

Several Tehran-based ambassadors from Islamic and Arab countries including those of Palestine, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Qatar, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Algeria, Kuwait, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Egypt were present at the airport to welcome Talabani.

Talabani: Sovereign Iraq cannot be prevented from approaching Iran

Ilam, Nov 21, IRNA-No world country, including the US, would dare stop Baghdad from approaching Tehran since Iraq is an independent state, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani was quoted as saying Sunday evening.

The Iraqi TV network, also monitored in Iran's western provincial city of Ilam, quoted Talabani as saying that since Iraq regained independence and sovereignty through elections and in compliance with international law, the country is free to make its own decisions regardless of the wishes of other countries.

Referring to certain anti-Iran statements made by some Iraqi officials during press conferences, Talabani stressed that he had ordered Iraqi Interior Minister Falah al-Naquib to be cautious when it comes to anti-Iran statements.

"If we come across any problem with Tehran, we will personally discuss it with the Iranian officials," Talabani said, stressing that he would not want to see Baghdad-Tehran relations damaged by comments made by the press or any other individual.

Talabani stressed that comments made by any of Iraq's officials about Iran would definitely be his or her personal view and would have nothing to do with Baghdad's official position on the matter.

The Iraqi president further said he had instructed Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and his cabinet members to comment only on matters within the purview of their respective ministries and avoid commenting on Iraq's relations with other states which, he said, falls within the jurisdiction of the ministry of foreign affairs.

... Payvand News - 11/21/05 ... --

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