Iraqi president says regional safety wants additional cooperation

BAGHDAD, March 11 (Xinhua) — Iraqi President Barham Salih Monday said that common security in Iraq and Iran and other countries in the Middle East region needs further cooperation.

“We confirm that common security between us and Iran and the regional countries requires further cooperation to confront the reemergence of terrorism in our (Middle East) region,” Salih said at a joint press conference with visiting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

“We want create a system built on common economic interests among the peoples of the region to get rid of conflicts that engulfed the region,” Salih said after an official reception at the presidential palace in Baghdad Green Zone.

Salih said that Rouhani’s visit is important for Iraq, as the two sides discussed “issues of borderline, water and establishing railroad between the two countries and joint oil wells, in addition to other issues of trade, oil and gas.”

Salih also expressed thanks to Iran on its support to Iraq in its fight against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, asserting that “the victory against terrorism is not complete and the countries of the region must cooperate to achieve that.”

For his part, Rouhani said that Iraq can play an important role in solving the problems of the Middle East region, asserting that the two countries can boost their cooperation in various fields.

He said that holding better relations between Iraq and Iran is for the benefit of the two peoples.

Earlier in the day, Rouhani and his accompanying delegation of officials and businessmen arrived in Iraq’s capital Baghdad for an official visit aimed at boosting bilateral ties.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif arrived in Baghdad on Sunday, preparing for Rouhani’s official visit.

The visit comes as the United States has been exerting sanctions on Iran’s oil industry and its banking and transport sectors, after Washington pulled out from the 2015 nuclear deal last May.