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Ahmadinejad: Enemies seek to sow discord between Iran, Iraq

Baghdad, March 2, IRNA - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Sunday that the enemies never welcome unity and solidarity between the Iranian and Iraqi nations. The Iranian president who is now visiting Iraq made the remarks in a meeting with high ranking Iraqi officials.

Both Iran and Iraq are two powerful countries with huge natural and skilled human resources, he said, adding that this is why the enemies always try to sow seeds of discords between these two nations.

Referring to historical and cultural commonalties between the two nations, he said former dictators did their best to shatter profound bonds between the two nations but to no avail and even the eight years of imposed war could not harm historical ties between the two countries.

The imposed war targeted not only the Iranian nation but also the Iraqi nation, said the Iranian president.

Powerful and developed Iran and Iraq are regarded as best friends, he said, adding that "We see ourselves among our own brothers." Iran and Iraq are two natural allies, underlined the Iranian president, adding that Iran regards the security and development of Iraq as its own and will spare no efforts to support the Iraqi nation.

On his current visit to Iraq, Ahmadinejad said the visit is taking place upon official invitation of his Iraqi counterpart and this should be regarded as a new chapter in history of brotherly ties between the two nations.

The two sides' political leaders are determined to broaden ties, he said, adding that both Iran and Iraq enjoy huge natural God given resources which can turn them into economic, political and cultural hubs in the region, said the Iranian president.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani who was also present in the meeting expressed satisfaction with the current visit of the Iranian president to Iraq and said, "Your trip to Iraq carries a message for other countries that they should visit Iraq and never undermine the Iraqi nation."

Iraq with its friends such as the Islamic Republic of Iran will remain powerful, said the Iraqi president.

"We hope the visit will lead to further expansion of ties and cooperation between the two countries," he underlined.

At the meeting, the two sides also reviewed issues of mutual interests.

The Iranian president arrived in the Iraqi capital on Sunday for a landmark visit to the country by an Iranian president after the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.

President Ahmadinejad is accompanied by a number of his cabinet ministers including Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki as well as ministers of energy, economy and transport and a group of Majlis deputies.

Ahmadinejad is also due to confer with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, vice-president, heads of political parties, and officials of United Iraq Coalition and Iraqi Kurdistan administration.

Powerful Iraq will benefit regional states: President

A united, powerful and developed Iraq would benefit all regional countries, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran said on Sunday after his first round of talks with President Jalal Talabani of Iraq.

Speaking at a joint press conference with President Talabani, the visiting president of Iran said his visit to Iraq opened "a new page in the history of Tehran-Baghdad relations" and would pave the way for further regional cooperation.

He said the first round of his talks with President Talabani which was held at Talabani's residence in Baghdad, was "positive and good." "We have same understanding of things and the two parties are determined to strengthen their political, economic and cultural cooperation," President Ahmadinejad said.

He regretted that the people of Iraq were going through "tough times." "The people of Iraq will soon overcome the situation by relying on their natural, human and cultural potentials as well as their ancient civilization," President Ahmadinejad said.

He stressed that he "is very pleased with his visit to an Iraq not ruled by a dictator."

Before his departure for Baghdad, the President told reporters in Tehran that his visit aimed at consolidating bilateral friendly relations as well as cementing bilateral ties and cooperation between the two neighboring states.

Ahmadinejad is also due to confer with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, vice-president, heads of political parties, and officials of United Iraq Coalition and Iraqi Kurdistan administration.

Five to ten agreements are expected to be signed by officials of the two neighboring states on economic cooperation.

The Iranian and Iraqi ministers of energy would attend a ground breaking ceremony for establishment of two power plants in the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala. The projects are to be carried out with the help of Iranian experts.

Iraqi Ambassador in Tehran Mohammad Majeed al-Sheikh has earlier told IRNA that President Ahmadinejad's visit to Baghdad would play a major role in promotion of bilateral relations and cooperation in various political, economic and industrial fields.

Tight security measures have been put in place in Baghdad prior to the visit to Iraq of the Iranian president.

Iraqi presidential office spokesman had earlier told IRNA correspondent in Baghdad that 30,000 presidential guards are contributing to special security arrangements to guarantee the Iranian president's safety during the historic visit.

... Payvand News - 03/02/08 ... --

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