TEHRAN, Sept. 13 (Mehr News Agency) -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that Iran feels obliged to support the Iraqi government and nation in practice.
"We hope that one day the Iraqi nation will regain their rightful place and take the financial and human capital of the country into their own hands with the withdrawal of the foreigners," Ayatollah Khamenei told Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who is on the final day of his first official visit to Iran.
The Leader expressed regret over the suffering and hardships that the Iraqis are experiencing every day, saying, "Some of the hardships are related to the actions of the former dictatorship and some are related to the presence of the occupiers in Iraq.
"With the withdrawal of the occupiers, a great proportion of Iraq's problems will be resolved. Therefore, we hope for their speedy withdrawal."
The development and happiness of the Iraqi nation is the same as the development and happiness of Iran and other regional countries, he added.
Maliki expressed satisfaction over his two-day trip to Iran and called it a successful visit.
He thanked Iranian officials for their stance in support of Iraq, saying, "One of the priorities of Baghdad's foreign policy is to strengthen ties with its neighbors."
The issue of insecurity is the main problem in Iraq, behind which are the Baathists and takfiris (extremists who believe they are the only true Muslims), he added.
He voiced optimism that Tehran-Baghdad relations would be expanded to unprecedented levels with the implementation of the agreements signed by the two countries.
Maliki also described Iraqi officials' efforts to solve the problems of the war-torn country.
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