TEHRAN, March 11 (Mehr News Agency) - Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi said here on Sunday that he is visiting Iran to pave the way for a new relationship between Baghdad and Tehran.
"In this visit we are seeking serious talks with Iranian officials... which would benefit the two countries," he told reporters in joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Parviz Davudi.
The Iraqi vice president said Iran enjoys very important position at regional and international level.
Lamenting the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, Hashemi said, "Unfortunately, there were problems between Iraq and Iran before the ouster of Saddam (Hussein), which the two Muslim nations didn't deserve, and many good opportunities were lost."
"The two governments could make use of opportunities for promoting the welfare of the two countries," he added.
Foreign interventions seemed to leave unforgettable hostility between the two countries, he stated, adding that he is willing to lay the groundwork for the implementation of Iraqi government's interest to build better ties with Iran within a framework of mutual respect and good neighborliness.
For his part, Iran's vice president said all Iranian officials and people have a special interest in Iraq.
Mohseni Ejei was speaking at a meeting with the visiting Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashimi, who is currently in Tehran heading a high-ranking political delegation.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran is especially concerned with the peace and security situation in Iraq," he said.
He rejected a link between Al-Hashimi's current Iran visit and the security meeting held in Baghdad on Saturday, saying "Iraqi officials hold regular meetings with Iranian officials."
"Al-Hashimi's visit had been scheduled even before the security meeting in Baghdad," he added.
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