Zarif Meets Iraqi Officials, Clerics

Zarif Meets Iraqi Officials, Clerics
Zarif Meets Iraqi Officials, Clerics

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Bagdad on Monday, on the last leg of a two-day regional tour, to discuss relations and regional issues.

He was to confer with Iraqi President Fuad Masum, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Speaker of the Council of Representatives of Iraq Salim al-Jabouri and Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, IRNA reported.  

Zarif arrived in the Iraqi city of Najaf late Sunday, where he visited the holy shrine of Imam Ali (AS). The senior diplomat also met with Iraq’s top religious leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and other Shia clerics in Najaf on Monday.

  Dialogue With Friends

On the second leg of his tour, Zarif went to Qatar on Sunday to meet Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, among other senior officials.   

In the meeting, Zarif described as “sweet” and “genuine” dialogue with “friends” in the region and said regional crises need to come to an end at some point.  

Referring to the significance of relations with neighbors, especially with Persian Gulf Arab states, Zarif called for putting emphasis on common views to help overcome regional problems. “We are fully ready to cooperate and consult with regional countries at bilateral and multilateral levels.”

The emir welcomed Zarif and expressed pleasure over Iran’s nuclear deal with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany).  

Pointing to the good historical relations between the two countries, Sheikh Tamim said the Persian Gulf Arab state has never had any major problems with Iran and has always defended Tehran’s nuclear rights in the international arena.

The emir called for efforts to find “political solutions” to regional problems and hoped for increased cooperation between Doha and Tehran to help solve regional issues in a positive atmosphere.   

Zarif also met with his counterpart Khalid bin Mohammad Al Attiyah to discuss bilateral ties as well as other topics of mutual concern.  

Prior to his visit to Qatar, Zarif had travelled to Kuwait on Sunday evening. In separate meetings with Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Foreign Minister Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah, he discussed bilateral ties and regional developments.