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Iran, Iraq study expansion of economic cooperation

Tehran, Dec 26, IRNA-Visiting Iraqi Minister of Commerce and Finance Bayan Jabr conferred here Tuesday with Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki on expansion of economic cooperation between the two countries.

According to the Information and Press Bureau of the Foreign Ministry, the two sides called for increase in the volume of trade between the two countries.

At the meeting, Mottaki referred to religious, cultural and social commonalties between Iran and Iraq and underlined that officials from both sides are determined to further bolster and deepen such ties.

Given the need to restore stability and security in Iraq, Mottaki said the task of maintaining country's security should be handed over to its elected government in order to reconstruct the country through national will.

Lambasting the US on the arrest of two Iranians who were guests of the Iraqi government, he underlined that the move is against international norms and the Iraqi government is responsible for pursuing the case and secure the release of the two Iranian nationals.

The Iraqi minister, for his part, underlined the need to further broaden economic cooperation among countries in the region and said Iraq's dlrs 41 billion budget for the year 2007 shows firm determination of the country's officials to ensure the country's development in close cooperation with neighboring states.

Iranian FM: insecurity in Iraq caused by alien forces

Tehran, Dec 25, IRNA-Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki in a meeting with Iraqi former minister without portfolio in Security affairs said, "Insecurity in Iraq is caused by the enemies of Iraq as well as the presence of alien forces in that country."

According to Foreign Ministry Media Department on Monday, Mottaki by referring to the constant and constructive consultations between officials of the two countries said, exchanging views has been useful and constructive and the process of forming government upon people's votes, in spite of some difficulties, has had a positive trend.

Explaining enemies' calculated plans and goals to widen differences among Shia' and Sunni, Mottaki said that unfortunately some elements are trying to create problems between Shia' and Sunni in the region which is in direction of colonialists' sinister goals.

The Iraqi former minister, Qassem Davoud, said the deep ties between the two countries were from cultural and historical commonalities and added, Iraqi nation in spite of various difficulties could complete the process of forming a government, holding election to create national assembly and establishment of the permanent government.

Regarding President Talabani and Prime Minister Maleki's trips to Tehran, Davoud evaluated the visits of Iraqi president and prime minister "very constructive" and added the Iraqi's officials intend to execute contents of the signed agreements between the two countries.

Underlining the fact that the two Iranians who were detained by US forces were official guest of the Iraqi government, he said the Iraqi government is to make all efforts to release them.

... Payvand News - 12/26/06 ... --

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