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Iran, Iraq Discuss Bilateral, Regional Issues

Iran, Iraq Discuss Bilateral, Regional Issues  Iran, Iraq Discuss Bilateral, Regional Issues

Iran and Iraq held talks on issues pertaining to bilateral relations and the latest developments in the Middle East, particularly Syria's nearly six-year crisis.

In a meeting with Iraq's Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari in Baghdad on Friday, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of Iran's Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said the two countries have strategic and important relations, Press TV reported.

"Tehran and Baghdad should enhance their economic cooperation and trade level," he said.

The legislator also said the forthcoming negotiations between representatives of the Damascus government and foreign-sponsored militant groups in the Kazakh capital Astana on January 23 would be an important step toward finding a political solution to the Syria crisis.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on January 8 he is "optimistic" about the upcoming peace negotiations in Astana and underlined that Damascus is "ready to negotiate" with the armed opposition groups.

The negotiations, which exclude the self-styled Islamic State and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terrorist groups, will be mediated by Russia, Turkey and Iran.

The Iraqi foreign minister said Tehran and Baghdad are on the right course with respect to strengthening relations.

Jaafari said his country has always supported the government of President Assad at international bodies, including the Arab League.

An Iranian delegation, headed by Boroujerdi, was in Baghdad to attend a conference, scheduled to be held on Saturday, on the future of Iraq after the elimination of IS terrorists.

Syria has been fighting foreign-sponsored militancy over the past six years.

UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimated in August last year that more than 400,000 people had been killed in the Syrian crisis until then. The UN has stopped its official casualty count in Syria, citing its inability to verify the figures it receives from various sources.

Millions of Syrians have been fleeing the conflict in their home country to neighboring states, including Lebanon, and overseas.

 

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