Iraqi FM Calls for Continued Iran-US Talks

A02859903.jpgIraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari assessed the trilateral meetings between Iran, Iraq and the US as positive, and further called on Tehran and Washington to continue the talks.Zebari made the remarks in a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki here on Thursday, where the two sides explored ways to increase the number of border passages and consolidate mutual cooperation, consulate affairs and political and trade ties, a statement released by the Foreign Ministry’s Information and Press Bureau said.

The two ministers also discussed dredging of their shared border river Arvand-Roud.

In the meeting, the Iranian minister noted the significance of Iraq’s security for Iran and the region, and described support for the Iraqi government and the legal structure of Iraq as well as enhancement of security in that country as the raison detre of the current talks between Iran, Iraq and the US.

Mottaki termed insecurities in Iraq a product of the improper approaches of trans-regional powers, and assessed arrangement of the meeting of the foreign ministers of Iraq’s neighbors as necessary and useful due to the same reason.

He further said that the US plans to make an international issue of Iraq and Palestine in a bid to escape its responsibilities, and stated that the plan for cooperation of Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria in the framework of the neighbors summit as well as other forms of collective cooperation could play an effective role in the reinvigoration of regional security.

The Iranian minister also underlined that Iraq’s problem should be resolved by the Iraqi people and inside that country.

Mottaki stressed the need for the increasing consolidation of relations between the Iranian and Iraqi nations, and introduced bilateral talks as a proper way to increase mutual understanding and strengthen ties in all areas.

To conclude his remarks, Mottaki called on his Iraqi counterpart to make the required efforts to set Iranian diplomats and prisoners free.

For his part, Iraqi foreign minister viewed inauguration of consulates as an effective tool for expanding cultural, political, social and economic relations, and assured that Iraqi statesmen have always striven to release Iranian prisoners in Iraq, specially the Iranian diplomats kidnapped during a raid by the US troops on Iran’s consulate general in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil last January.

He also hoped that all Iranian prisoners would be freed as soon as possible.

Hoshyar Zebari further stressed that defeating the armed groups is the best way to attain security in Iraq, adding that confrontation with all terrorist groups sets a fundamental policy for the Iraqi government.

To end his remarks, the Iraqi foreign minister assessed as positive the trilateral meetings between Iran, Iraq and the US in Baghdad, and called for the continuation of these talks.

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