Iran president arrives in Baghdad Sunday

March 1st, 2008 - 8:11 pm ICT by admin  

Baghdad, March 1 (IANS) The Iranian deputy foreign minister Saturday said that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s upcoming Iraq visit would be a historic one, as the aim of his visit was to establish peace and friendship between the two countries, official IRNA news agency reported. “We should avail ourselves of this historic occasion to realise the ultimate aim of creating borders of stable peace and friendship,” Deputy Foreign Minister Ali-Reza Sheikh-Attar said.

Ahmadinejad is scheduled to arrive here Sunday. This will be an Iranian head of state’s first visit to Iraq in several decades.

Referring to the history of Tehran-Baghdad relations, the minister said the two countries have always enjoyed special relations and they want to strengthen it further.

“But the foreign interference in Iraq’s domestic affairs is an obstacle in the way of establishment of the borders of durable peace between the two friendly countries,” he stressed.

Sheikh-Attar has been in Iraq for three days to make preparations for the Iranian president’s visit to the war-ravaged country.

Ahmadinejad’s visit takes place at the official invitation of his Iraqi counterpart Jalal Talabani.

Iran and Iraq had been involved in a devastating eight-year war from 1980 to 1988 in which hundreds of thousands of Iranian soldiers were killed and injured and vast border areas were destroyed.

Both sides have shown interest in starting a new era of cooperation and friendship forgetting the past strains after the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime.

However, the US has been accusing Iran of supporting and supplying weapons to insurgents in Iraq, an allegation that Iran has been denying strongly.

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