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Talabani criticizes Arab states for not opening missions in Baghdad

TEHRAN, Nov. 14 (Mehr News Agency) -- In an interview published on Wednesday Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has criticized Arab states' refusal to open their embassies in Iraq and to forgive Iraq's debts.

"Unfortunately Arab countries are not in harmony with us...although we have urged their aid in all conferences," he told Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram.

Many countries, except Arab countries, have opened their embassies in Iraq and have forgiven Iraq's debts, he said, adding "but we had to pay the Arab states 30 billion dollars in compensation in a time we were in great need for money to launch Iraq's reconstruction."

The president stated that Iraq expects Arab countries to further support his war-torn homeland.

He added that he will pay a visit to Saudi Arabia after his trip to Egypt to hold talks with Saudi officials for further expansion of bilateral ties.

"We have asked Egypt to return its ambassador to Iraq by the end of the current year, and we have also planned to send our ambassador to Egypt by the yearend," Talabani added.

Iran's Interior Minister calls for more border trade with Iraq

TEHRAN, Nov. 14 (Mehr News Agency) -- In a meeting with Iraqi Islamic Council Chairman Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim here on Wednesday, Interior Minister Mostafa Purmohammadi suggested that the border provinces of Iran and Iraq to hold talks to develop trading in those areas.

Hakim welcomed the proposal and said that holding such talks could boost the relations of the two countries.

Reporting on Iraq's latest developments, Hakim noted that according to a report from the World Bank, unemployment in the country has decreased from 50 percent to 20, and inflation rate has decreased from 60 percent to 16.

He also stated that fortunately vigilance of the people and all political groups has foiled increasing efforts by the enemies to create discord among Muslims in Iraq.

Purmohammadi condemned the plan for dividing Iraq, and said that it will surely not be accepted by Iraqi political groups because "all of them are interested in dignity and sovereignty of their country."

... Payvand News - 11/15/07 ... --

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