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Foreign Affairs

Exceptional ties with Iran making Iraq’s role significant in region

Baghdad, President Barham Salih said that Iraq's exceptional ties with Iran are of great significance for his country's role in the region.

'This wise and balanced role that Iraq plays in the region can be very effective for the region,' the Iraqi president underlined.

At a news conference with Iranian journalists before the threeday official visit of the Iranian president to Iraq on Monday, the Iraqi President responded to reporters' questions on Sunday.

One reporter asked, 'You said you do not want Iraq to be a arena for regional conflicts, while some countries do not have such a desire, and they want Iraq, Iran and Syria to be involved in tension. We recently saw the passage of terrorists from the northwestern borders into Iraq, which sometimes have the support of foreign troops. Many foreign forces are willing to deploy these forces, especially in desert areas. What is the position of the Iraqi government? '

The Iraqi president replied, 'We need to understand that there are different guidelines in the region. Our duty in Iraq is to maintain our independence and protect our national security and not allow terrorists to return to our lands. There is a very good cooperation between Iraq and Syria to secure the borders. We are working closely with the influential countries of the region, including Iran, to end the problems in Syria. Any security threats against Iran are unacceptable to us. The security of Iraq and Iran is common and cannot be reconciled. The region must be vigilant that the game with the terrorism card is very dangerous and will burn the fingers of those who play with this fire.

Salih also responded to another journalist's question who asked, 'The US dollar is sanctioned for Iran, and Iran has no possibility of trading with dollar. Iraq has been offered a different suggestion, including Iraq to pay the dollar needed for Iran's purchases. Do you address these solutions on Rouhani's trip?

He noted, 'For sanctions, I have to say that the relevant agencies are working closely with each other. We do everything in our power to lessen the harassment of the Iranian people, and this is the least thing we can do and act in our own interest. This is the least thing we can do is for our beloved neighboring Iran. Iran was a country that stood on our side in the hard days, and we should stand by them in those hard days.

Another correspondent asked, 'You had several trips to the countries of the region, including Saudi Arabia. Did you have a particular message from Saudi Arabia to Iran?'

'I will not answer this question. But everywhere in Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and even in Sharm El Sheikh, I said the same; this is what I said here clearly, we say everywhere that our relations with Iran are undoubtedly very important. As our relationship with the Arab world is important for Iran and Turkey. With a balanced policy, we manage these relationships and help reduce the tensions and political solution in Syria. The Syrian problem must be solved on the basis of the Syrian people's demand. Syria must be involved in the fight against terrorism and there must be real economic relations between the countries of the region,' he stressed.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA

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