(Persia Digest) – The Iranian Ambassador to Baghdad has said: “The Iranian President will be visiting Baghdad accompanied by a large political-economic delegation. This will be a 3-day trip and Mr Rouhani will meet with the Iraqi President, Prime Minister, and Speaker of Parliament. He will also meet with the Shia marja leader, Ayatollah Sistani, in Najaf.
Iraj Masjedi reiterated: “The main purpose of the visit is to strengthen economic, political, and sociocultural ties between the two countries.”
He added that topics of discussion include the Khorramshahr-Basra railway line, expansion of industrial estates, visas issuance, the 1975 Algiers Agreement, and other issues pertaining to customs and healthcare.
Speaking about the Algiers Agreement, Masjedi emphasized: “Discussions will be on the implementation of the Agreement, because it does not require any new amendments. Presently, Arvand Roud must be dredged and shipwrecks must be brought to the surface. The ports of Khorramshahr, Abadan, and Basra must also be revived.”
The Iranian Ambassador continued by saying that we require the lifting of visas with Iraq, adding: “Iraqi official believe that the groundwork must be laid for visa abolition between the two countries first; therefore, the basis of this trip is not an agreement in this regard.”
On the trade ties between the two countries, Masjedi said: “Iraq is Iran’s first export destination; major exports to Iraq are from Iran and China and Turkey are on Iran’s heels.”
The Iranian Ambassador stated that there is far more potential for Iran and Iraq to work together, saying: “We have aimed to increase trade ties to USD 20BN.”
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