TEHRAN, Jan. 3 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki held a meeting here on Monday. Ahmadinejad emphasized that Iran wants to see a "prosperous" Iraq.
The glory, independence, prosperity, security, and progress of the Iraqi nation are important for the Islamic Republic of Iran, he added.
Noting that Iraq has passed its most difficult days, he said, "If high-ranking Iraqi officials act prudently, I am sure that the country will attain its ideals."
The president added that Tehran and Baghdad have great potential for expanding their bilateral relations.
"Iran and Iraq... can raise the level of their trade exchanges very quickly."
Elsewhere in his remarks, Ahmadinejad observed, "The Islamic Republic of Iran is happy that Iraq has made strides for its development, prosperity, and progress."
Al-Maliki expressed gratitude for the humanitarian assistance Iran has provided to his country.
"Iraq is optimistic about the future of its relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran."
Iran, Iraq call for expansion of ties
In a separate meeting with al-Maliki, Iranian First Vice President Parviz Davoudi called for the expansion of ties between Tehran and Baghdad.
"In light of the current state of affairs in the world, it is essential that the two countries take serious measures to strengthen their ties, especially in the economic and commercial spheres."
He also expressed satisfaction over the current level of bilateral relations between Iran and Iraq.
Commenting on Israel's ongoing attack on the Gaza Strip, Davoudi stated, "Islamic states must expand their cooperation to halt the crimes of the Zionist regime."
Al-Maliki also called for the expansion of ties between the two neighboring states.
"We should expand our all-out relations, especially in the investment and trade sectors."
Al-Maliki added, "We believe that the Islamic Republic of Iran is a great neighbor and our best and most important partner in all areas."
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