Iraq determined to boost ties with Iran
The foreign ministers of Iran and Iraq stressed Monday, December 10 the need to resolve problems outstanding from the 1980-88 war between their two countries and boost cooperation, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported.
"Iraq is determined to improve its relations with Iran on a solid basis", Baghdad's Naji Sabri told his Iranian counterpart Kamal Kharazi on the sidelines of an Organization of the Islamic Conferencee (OIC) meeting in Doha. "Iraq will do its utmost to dissipate outstanding problems which have marked relations between the two nations", Sabri said, adding that he would "visit Iran in the near future".
Kharazi for his part said Tehran and Baghdad need "political determination" to establish solid relations and "contribute to stability, peace and security in the region". Iraq and Iran have yet to normalize ties 13 years after the end of their devastating 1980-1988 conflict, which left nearly one million dead from both sides.
Baghdad and Tehran, who maintain relations charge d'affaires level, remain at odds over the issue of prisoners of war (POWs) and support for each other's dissidents. However a senior Iranian military officer was quoted as saying last week that there had been progress in resolving the prisoner-of-war dispute. Sabri said in November he was prepared to visit Tehran at any time, but Baghdad's envoy in the Iranian capital, Abdelsattar Al-Rawi, said later his trip had been put off because of "US threats" against Iraq. — (AFP, Tehran)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)