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Iraqi president to visit Iran Wednesday; Rafsanjani to visit Iraq

Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

Jalal TalabaniIraqi President Jalal Talabani will visit Tehran on Wednesday for a two-day visit, Iraqi sources said. The president will be accompanied by four cabinet ministers.

Iraq's ambassador to Tehran, Mohammad Majid Al-Shaikh, has told the Kuwaiti News Agency that Talabani may encourage Iranian officials for a new round of Tehran-Washington talks on Iraq.

The ambassador said Baghdad likes to use its close relations with Iran and the United States to reconcile the ideas of the two countries over Iraq.

Rafsanjani to visit Iraq next week

Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani will start a tour of Iraq next week at the invitation of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran's Expediency Council chairman will visit Baghdad at the invitation of Jalal Talabani," Iraqi ambassador to Tehran Mohammad Majid Al-Shaikh told the Mehr News Agency.

It will be the first visit of its kind to Iraq by Rafsanjani.

The ambassador said he hopes the visit would help reinforces ties between the two neighboring countries.

Rafsanjani is widely expected to visit holy sites in Iraq.

Families of Iranian diplomats detained in Iraq meet Rafsanjani

Families of the Iranian diplomats detained by U.S. forces in Iraq met with Expediency Council Chairman Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on Sunday.

The families asked Rafsanjani to use his influence to help obtain the release of the diplomats in talks with Iraqi officials. Rafsanjani praised the families for their patience and expressed hope that the diplomats would be freed soon through the efforts and goodwill of Iraqi officials.

... Payvand News - 02/23/09 ... --

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