Tehran, April 15, IRNA - Chairman of Expediency Council in a meeting with vice-president of Kurdistan Region in Iraq and secretary general of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan said Iran's Islamic Open University (IOU) would open its branch in the region.
Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in a meeting with Kosrat Rassoul here on Tuesday, said academic cooperation is an appropriate ground for expanding ties adding that based on a mutual agreement, the IOU branch will be opened in the Kurdistan Region.
He said that Kurdistan Region is a natural partner for us and Iran will never forget Iraqi Kurds sincere cooperation during the sacred defence (Iran- Iraq war).
Rafsanjani referred to the strategic cooperation between Iraqi Kurds and Iran in the struggle against Saddam regime and said that construction in Iraq is an urgent need now.
He added infra-structure, road building, dam construction, trade, training and culture are suitable grounds for developing cooperation with the Kurdistan region.
Maintaining unity among ethnic, religious and political groups in Iraq is a pressing necessity for achieving progress in the country, said Rafsanjani adding that one of the aims of his recent visit to Iraq was to try to maintain unity among Iraqi groups.
Referring to the historical, cultural and economic commonalities between Iran and Iraq, Rafsanjani described cooperation grounds 'vast' and said fighting against terrorism, foreign interference, and illegal groups by both sides has increased security and stability in the area.
Kosrat Rassoul, for his part, conveyed President Massoud Barzani's warm greetings and repeated his invitation for Ayatollah Rafsanjani to pay a visit to the region and called Iraqi Kurds and Iranians as 'old friends'.
He expressed pleasure that Iran after three decades has turned into a regional power.
Secretary general of PUK, by referring to the historical commonalities between the two nations, reminded bilateral cooperation during fight against Saddam regime and expressed hope that with the intention of both sides' leaders, mutual relations increase more and more.
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