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Iran and Iraq presidents emphasize expansion of ties

Tehran, Nov 21, IRNA-Visiting Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Iranian President Mahmood Ahmadinejad emphasized the two countries' intention to deepen and expand strategic mutual ties.

In a press conference after their meeting here on Monday, the two presidents said, " both nations seriously intend to develop relations in all fields."

President Talabani said, "In Tehran, I am following the historical and strong ties between the two countries."

Responding to a question concerning terrorism, Talabani said an independent Iraq is beneficial to both nations and I am confidant that Iranians will help Iraq in this concern .

He added,"Terrorism acts blindly against Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds and I am sure that Iranians will help us to uproot it."

Iraqi president said he appreciates Iranian government and nation for their help to fight against Saddam dictatorial regime adding he is in Tehran to deepen and expand strategic mutual ties.

He also said, "I have come to Tehran to thank Islamic Republic of Iran, Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution, the president and other Iranian officials and our brothers in Revolutionary Corps, who presented valuable help to Iraq".

Concerning probable coalition between Kurds and Shia's in the next parliamentary election in Iraq, Talabani just said, "Relations between Kurds and Shia's are strong and they have continued since the time of struggle against Saddam's dictatorial regime and are very strong right now".

In the press conference, President Ahmadinejad said many commonalities have connected the two nations.

He went on to say the freedom of Iraqi nation, the political trend in that country, establishment of national sovereignty in Iraq are the victory of Iraqi nation and Islamic Republic of Iran fully supports such an orientation in Iraq.

In response to a question by a reporter about " claims of Iran's interference in Iraq", Ahmadinejad said, Iran-Iraq ties are very old and many of Iraqis have been born in Iran and Iranians in Iraq.

He explained these words come from those people who have brought hundreds of thousands of troops to Iraq and are imposing their views on Iraqi nation.

The Iranian president continued Iran will support completely a developed and independent Iraq with a territorial integrity.

EC chairman: Iran wishes calm, free, united Iraq

Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said in Tehran on Tuesday that a calm, free and united Iraq is the call of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Rafsanjani further told visiting Iraqi President Jalal Talabani that a free Iraq can, along with Iran and other regional states, play an effective role in settling the problems of the world of Islam and the Middle East.

He said signs of maturity, growth and wisdom are seen in the Iraqi people and officials and there is no more important wish for the Islamic Republic of Iran than seeing the Iraqi people decide their own fate.

He added that the Iraqi nation's power in the process of political transition showed that they can run their country without foreign presence and intervention or dictation of foreign powers.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rafsanjani said division of the Iraqi people is the wish of the enemies of Iraq.

"The Iraqi nation and government need more than ever before to tolerate different tastes and, if differences are peacefully settled, calm will be restored to the country more speedily," he added.

Rafsanjani said terrorist acts and certain suspicious moves are the cost of transition from former conditions to the present favorable conditions, adding, "The criminal events and acts taking place in Iraq are very bitter for us."

He said upcoming elections in Iraq would open a new chapter in the history of the country, hoping that the Iraqi people and government would leave behind this stage successfully.

He also voiced Iran's readiness to put its expertise at Iraq's disposal in its post-war reconstruction drive if Baghdad so wishes.

Iran can provide the Iraqi people and government with assistance in water, electricity, gas and telephone services, said Rafsanjani, calling for facilitation of pilgrimage and recreational tours to either country.

Talabani for his part lauded Iran's stances on Iraq, saying the Iraqi nation will never forget the support and assistance of the Iranian government and nation.

He said the Iraqi nation knows quite well that had it not been for Iran's support during those tough and dark days, Iraq would not have been able to attain such a position today.

He thanked Iranian officials and people for supporting the Iraqi people and said he is in Tehran to help bolster "historical and strategic" ties between Tehran and Baghdad in the political, economic and commercial sectors.

He said discord among the Iraqi people obstructs the country's progress, saying Baghdad will try to ensure that Iraq belongs to all Iraqi people.

He added that terrorism and its spread will be harmful to all, hoping that reforms in police and security forces would put an end to such a phenomenon in Iraq.

Calling as "decisive" future elections in Iraq, Talabani said the elections will provide the entire Iraqi nation with a chance to decide their fate by participating in the polls. He hoped that all Iraqi ethnic groups would have a representation in the post-election parliament.

He said proper conditions are available for expansion of Iran-Iraq ties, adding that friendly ties between Iran and Iraq will benefit both nations.

Talabani hoped for speedy removal of problems concerning arrangement of pilgrimage tours and inviting Rafsanjani to pay a visit to Iraq and its holy sites.

... Payvand News - 11/22/05 ... --

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