Iraqi Endeavors to Promote Regional Dialogue Commended

Zarif said Iran supports Iraq’s critical role in the region and hopes this capacity will grow stronger and contribute to peace and stability
Iraqi Endeavors to Promote Regional Dialogue Commended
Iraqi Endeavors to Promote Regional Dialogue Commended

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran appreciates Iraq’s efforts to prepare the ground for promoting dialogue between regional countries, hoping these endeavors would lead to more diplomatic talks and a deeper understanding in the region. 
“We welcome Iraq’s critical and strong role in the region and hope this capacity will grow stronger and contribute to peace and stability,” he said in a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart, Fuad Hussein, in Baghdad on Monday, IRNA reported. 
He added that regional relations need to be promoted based on good neighborliness, respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference in each other’s domestic affairs, and friendship and brotherhood, as countries of the region will remain neighbors while foreign states may leave.
The Iraqi minister highlighted Baghdad’s capability for resolving regional issues, peacemaking and de-escalation.  
“I discussed with Mr. Zarif Iran’s relations with the United States and with Persian Gulf states and we agreed on Iraq’s positive part in this regard,” he said. 
He added that Iraq’s foreign relations policy is based on preserving mutual interests and that the region maintains its own say. 
Iran has had no diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia since 2016 and its relations with other Persian Gulf Arab states has soured over the past several years. 
Foreign media have reported recently that Saudi and Iranian officials have held discussions in Baghdad to ease tensions after a visit to Riyadh by the Iraqi prime minister. Iranian officials have not explicitly confirmed or denied the meetings, but have welcomed any initiative toward de-escalation. 
Iran’s ambassador in Baghdad had also said Tehran welcomes Iraqi mediation to mend its ties with Persian Gulf Arab states. 
“The Islamic Republic supports Baghdad’s mediation to bring Tehran closer to countries with which we have faced challenges or with which ties have cooled, and Iraqi officials have been notified of this,” Iraj Masjedi had said. 



Crucial Ties 

The two diplomats also discussed Iran’s current negotiations with the world powers in Vienna, Austria, to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, which has been unraveling since the US pulled out and restored sanctions on Tehran, forcing it to scale back its commitments in response. 
Zarif reiterated Iran’s position on resuming full compliance after all US sanctions are removed and their effective lifting is verified.
The foreign ministers also conferred on bilateral ties. Zarif described the relations as “strong” and “much needed” for both sides, expressing Iran’s interest in further expanding the ties. 
The Iranian foreign minister later met Iraqi President Barham Salih and was set to hold talks with other top officials and party leaders, before leaving for the Kurdistan Region on Tuesday. 
Zarif had earlier paid a visit to Doha and met Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and his counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, where they talked on bilateral ties and regional and international cooperation. 
He underlined Iran’s policy of promoting relations with regional countries and stressed the need for dialogue as “a vital necessity” to help peace and stability in the Middle East. 
Qatar has repeatedly called for comprehensive dialogue between Iran and Persian Gulf Arab states, since its reconciliation with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt who had imposed a boycott on Doha.
It is eager to extend its support to Iran, which cooperated with Doha during the period it was isolated by several Arab states.

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