Tehran and Baghdad have hailed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s historic three-day visit to Iraq as a “turning point” in efforts to strengthen “strategic” cooperation between the two neighbors based on non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
In a joint statement released during Rouhani’s landmark visit to Iraq, Iran and Iraq said they discussed regional issues, common challenges, fight against terrorism and ways to promote security, stability and economic cooperation in the region in line with the interests of its nations.
According to the statement, the two sides emphasized the need for the establishment of security in the Middle East as a contributing factor to the region’s economic growth and development.
It added that Iran and Iraq also expressed their firm determination to battle terrorism and organized crimes, which pose a threat to regional security and peace, calling for collective cooperation to uproot terrorism in all political, intellectual and financial aspects.
The two sides said they held important talks in a cordial and constructive atmosphere and expressed their willingness to enhance relations in various spheres, including politics, security, economy, healthcare, trade, culture, science and technology.
Iran and Iraq further emphasized that the 1975 Algiers Agreement and its attached protocols should be carefully implemented with goodwill and agreed to start joint operation to dredge Arvand Roud as soon as possible.
The statement continued, “The two sides also discussed issues of interest and signed memoranda of understanding in oil, trade, health, rail transportation between Shalamcheh and Basra, as well as issuing visas for tradespeople and investors of the two countries.”
“The two sides agreed that tourism, pilgrimage and commerce visas will be free of charge for the citizens of both countries starting from April 1, 2019,” it concluded.
Heading a high-ranking delegation, Rouhani arrived in Baghdad on Monday at the official invitation of the Iraqi government. It is Rouhani’s first official visit to Iraq during his tenure.