Zarif Attends Talabani's Funeral

Zarif Attends Talabani's Funeral

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attended the funeral ceremony for Iraq's late president, Jalal Talabani, in Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan, on Friday. Heading a high-ranking delegation, Zarif arrived in Sulaymaniyah on Friday morning where he was received by Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government Nechirvan Barzani, ISNA reported. He was the first among foreign dignitaries to lay a wreath on the coffin of Talabani. In a message on Wednesday, Zarif described Talabani as one of "the most influential, prominent and benevolent figures in Iraq who devoted his life for the freedom and independence of his country." The top diplomat's participation came amid escalating tensions between Iran and KRG over the latter's independence referendum on Sept. 25. Talabani, who passed away on Tuesday, became the first elected president of Iraq after the overthrow of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Earlier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani offered his deep condolences over the demise of the Iraqi Kurdish leader and said, "Talabani played a very important role in preserving Iraq's national solidarity and unity.'

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