Iraq Needs Regional Backing to Address Challenges

Iraq Needs Regional Backing  to Address ChallengesIraq Needs Regional Backing  to Address Challenges

The Iraqi parliament speaker said the Arab country is in need of assistance from regional states in tackling major challenges facing it, including an economic slump.

"The specter of an economic crisis is hanging over Iraq and the government cannot fight it off unless other regional countries help," Salim al-Jabouri said in a joint press conference after meeting his Iranian counterpart Ali Larijani in Tehran on Saturday.

During the meeting, the two officials explored ways to help deepen political relations, improve cooperation in the campaign against terrorism and increase bilateral trade.

Stressing the importance of cooperation between Tehran and Baghdad to address regional issues, Jabouri said, "Iran and Iraq collaborate to restore security to the region."

"The two countries' strong relations and their mutual dependence … have put them on the same path," IRNA quoted the Iraqi official as saying.

Jabouri described plans by Baghdad's government to help promote synergy and restore lasting security to Iraq.

Larijani praised the Iraqi people for managing to forge national unity, despite the country's multi-ethnic structure.

Referring to continued parliamentary consultations between the two neighbors, the senior lawmaker said, "Fortunately, there is a close relationship between the two parliaments and we have regular consultations on various issues."

Larijani said Jabouri's trip to Iran is considered "a success" because it contributes to improvement in bilateral ties and restoration of peace in the region.

  Hidden Hands

Jabouri also held talks with Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Shamkhani.

"Countering the organized attempt by Iraq's enemies to use religious extremists and former Ba'ath elements to create political and sectarian division requires greater vigilance on the part of the country's political leaders," Shamkhani said.

He told Jabouri that hidden hands are at work to ensure that the region remains beset by "insecurity, instability and crisis," Fars News Agency Reported.