Mon, Mar 11, 2019
President Barham Salih received Dr. Hassan Rouhani, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, at Assalam Palace in Baghdad on Monday, March 11, 2019.
An official reception was held. The national anthems of the two countries were played after which the two Presidents inspected the Presidential Guards.
Dr. Barham Salih and his guest held a session of extensive discussions on bilateral relations and prospects of their development in the interest of the two friendly peoples as well as conferring about the latest developments on the Arab and international arenas in addition to the developments in the fight against the terrorist gangs of ISIS.
His Excellency asserted that establishing strong ties with Iran and developing them "will be for the benefit of Iraq and the region."
The President stressed the importance of enhancing mutual cooperation at various trade, economic, and infrastructure levels, considering that the signing of agreements as well as the establishing of joint commercial and industrial zones will leave positive effects in consolidating economic relations between the two friendly countries."
“Iraq will not forget the support of Iran in the days of confronting the tyranny and its great role in combating terrorism," His Excellency stressed.
“We do not want our country to be an arena of conflict between the competing powers, nor to be a launching pad for attacks on our neighbors,” the President explained.
His Excellency clarified that Iraq, after the defeat of ISIS, stands at two obligations; the reconstruction and the political stability.”
For his part, President Rouhani emphasized that the aim of the visit is to develop the level of bilateral relations between the two countries,
The Iranian President indicated that there are great potentials enjoyed by both Tehran and Baghdad and could be invested to enhance cooperation between the two countries.
Dr. Hassan Rouhani considered that the relations between the Iraqi and the Iranian peoples could be harnessed to deepen bilateral relations in various fields.
He added that Iran as a government and people aspires to enhance security and stability in Iraq and achieve the development in it as Iraq is Iran’s neighboring and brotherly country, stressing that the Islamic Republic of Iran has always stood and will stand by Iraq in various circumstances.
On the other hand, the President held a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart after the official talks, during which President Barham Salih asserted that the visit of the Iranian President comes to emphasize the importance of the relations between our two countries, which are firmly established in history. They are social ties and security and political interests. These relations are in the interest of the two countries and the region in general.
President Salih stressed that Iraq is fortunate by its Islamic neighborhood and by its Arab extension, perhaps Iraq will be a gateway to the reunification of the region.
His Excellency noted that the visit of the Iranian President is important and there are contexts agreed upon in the service of the two friendly peoples and the regional stability.
The President explained that the joint security between Iraq and Iran and between Iran and the countries of the region requires further cooperation in order to address the reemergence of terrorism in our country and the region.
His Excellency considered that Baghdad is a meeting place for achieving common interests first and foremost as well as to counter extremist thought and create a system of economic interests.
President Salih valued the position of the Islamic Republic of Iran in supporting Iraq during its fight against terrorism, stressing that the victory, which has been achieved is a major triumph but is incomplete to eradicate the terrorist deviant ideology and extremism as it requires further regional cooperation.
For his part, the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed his thanks to the Iraq as a government and people for their warm welcoming and hospitality.
He emphasized that the talks with President Barham Salih were good.
President Rouhani noted "Iraq has an important role in the region and could play a bigger role in achieving stability, security and closer relations. We want to be united with the Iraqis and we will stay with them, not against others, but we want to be the ground that brings others and we care about Iraq's stability and democracy.”
He explained that we are exerting our efforts to strengthen relations between the two countries and solidify common interests, and that there are broad areas of cooperation between them in the economic, trade, and energy as well as in traffic of religious tourists, roads and banking services, and water resources fields.
The following is the full text of the press conference:
Dr. Barham Salih: It is my pleasure to welcome the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Sheikh Hassan Rouhani, at the Assalam Palace in Baghdad. This visit comes to emphasize the importance of relations between our two countries and two our peoples. These relations are well established in history. They are socio-cultural relations and common security, political and economic interests. These relations are on the benefit the two countries and the benefit both peoples but they are also on the benefit the region as a whole.
We spoke with the President about the importance of proper building for the strengthening of these relations by emphasizing economic ties, enhancing trade between the two countries, and also establishing the an interdependent economic infrastructure of our two countries and peoples that also extends to the entire region from railway linking, and joint industrial zones as well as lifting the obstacles and impediments to religious tourist between the two peoples.
It is a fact that we conclude discussions on small vocabulary and go into the widest space in this relation. This is what is required for our two peoples and this is what is needed for the region as a whole.
It was also an important opportunity for me to assure His Excellency the President, the dear guest, of Iraq's thanks to our brothers in the Islamic Republic of Iran, notably for their role in the fight against terrorism, and in the victory achieved in Iraq against ISIS, which is a victory of an important and significant, but it is incomplete. The eradication of deviant ideology and the eradication of extremism require further sustained regional effort and cooperation.
This context emphasizes that our common security between us and Iran, between us and the countries of the region, require further cooperation in order to counter the reemergence of terrorism again in our country and in our region and this requires that the countries of the region cooperate in this matter and see that Baghdad is the meeting place for the countries of the region in order to reach an understanding and cooperate with each other for common interests, first and foremost to address the deviant thought, this terrorist ideology, and these terrorist organizations, but also to create a system of common economic interests among the peoples of this region, where these conflicts and rivalries that have affected the region finish out.
Iraq is living an important historical turning historical moments; our country has suffered a lot as a result of regional and international conflicts that took place in the Iraqi arena. I am optimistic that the countries of the region understand the importance of stability in Iraq and the importance of supporting the process of stability in it, and that Iraq to be an arena for the convergence of interests amongst the peoples and countries of the region.
I have told the President that there are those who say that the geographical location of Iraq is difficult and has many challenges and problems but on the other hand lucky by its Islamic neighborhood, with our neighbors in Iran, and Iraq is lucky by our neighbors in Turkey and lucky in its Arab extension. This depth of the Arab may and perhaps make Iraq as a factor of reunification of the region based on respect of interests of the peoples of the region and the emphasis on commonality between us of concepts and mutual values . It is time for this region to start what is required of the reconstruction and economic prosperity.
The visit of His Excellency President Rouhani is an important one to us as we are having him as a dear guest.
We wish him a pleasant stay. We hope that his meetings with the Prime Minister and the Government will conclude to important agreements and understandings that strengthen these bilateral relations between our two countries and peoples.
There are contexts that have been agreed upon and will be announced today, all of which are in the interest of serving the two peoples and the two countries and also serve regional stability, and this is what we expect from this visit for the two peoples and the region.
Welcome again President Rouhani Welcome.
President Rohani: In the name of Allah the Merciful, we thank the Republic of Iraq as Government and people for the hospitality extended to the Iranian delegation during their three-day visit.
We feel that Iraq is in our second homeland and the relations between the two countries and the two peoples in fact are not new. These relations go back thousands of years, as these ties are religious, cultural, historical and regional relations, not the relations we dispense with, but we must make every effort to strengthen and develop them.
The talks that took place between me and His Excellency the President in fact were good and kind. In all the talks between us, I did not find any point of disagreement between us. The relations between Iran and Iraq are in fact for the benefit of the Iranian people and for the benefit of the Iraqi people. These relations are of common interest.
No doubt, we are doing our utmost to strengthen and secure these relations and not leave them in all fields.
We believe that there are broad areas for joint cooperation between the two countries. These fields are the fields of trade cooperation as well as investments and the establishment of joint industrial cities, border markets and bilateral tourism relations between the two countries as well as the movement of religious visitors we see and witness between us in addition to cooperation in the fields of energy, gas, electricity, petroleum, banking, technical, engineering and technical services,
as well as cooperation in the fields of roads, railways and waterways such as the River Wind as well as issues related to the environment and issues and political, regional and international issues.
We in the two countries in fact over the past years have faced many difficulties and many problems as a result of the terrorism that was present and the Iraqi people and the Iranian people in fact had suffered from this evil phenomenon and we were by the side of the Iraqi people and we were by the side of the Iraqi army during the difficult days that were in this country. We are pleased by our standing by your side.
We regard Iraq as an important country in the region. We consider Iraq an Islamic state and an Arab state. This country can actually play a greater role in providing security and in establishing closer relations with the countries of this region.
We want to be with Iraq to be by the side of Iraq and to be united with Iraq, not against others, of course, but we want to provide the ground to receive others and be with us.
What we are concerned about is the stability of Iraq, the security of Iraq and the democracy we see in Iraq. We know that a secure Iraq, an independent Iraq will in fact have a major role in providing security and stability in this region.
Finally, I would like to say something, and I would like to say again in other places. I would like to extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to the Iraqi people, especially the generous hospitality that they held and are holding for the Iranian visitors, especially in the days of Arbaeenia of Imam Hussein, peace be upon him.
We attach great importance to this visit. By the way, we would like to thank His Excellency the President. We hope that these relations will develop, God willing, day by day in various fields and that relations between us and the Iraqi people will grow. Thank you.
To read the full piece from Iraqi Presidency (Office of the President of Iraq), click here.