Iranian Foreign Minister Lands in Baghdad
Kamal Kharazi arrived Friday in Baghdad by plane, the first visit to the Iraqi capital by an Iranian foreign minister in 10 years, an AFP correspondent reported.
He flew in aboard an Iran Air flight, the first Iranian aircraft to land in Baghdad since the United Nations imposed sanctions in Iraq in 1990 ahead of the Gulf War.
Teheran has opposed the strict sanctions regime but nonetheless followed the international embargo against the country against which it fought a bloody war from
Kharazi was to hold talks with Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammad Said al-Sahhaf "on all the unresolved questions between the two countries", an official Iraqi source said.
The two men met on September 20 in New York during the United Nations General Assembly's Millennium summit and reviewed prospects for renewing contacts between their countries to solve unresolved questions and advance along the path to normalisation," the Iraqi News Agency reported.
And Iranian President Mohammad Khatami met Iraq's Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan on September 29, on the sidelines of the OPEC summit in Caracas.
Kharazi's visit is the first by an Iranian foreign minister since Ali Akbar Velayati traveled to Iraq in November 1990 ahead of the Gulf War in which Iraqi forces were evicted from Kuwait.
After the 1980-88 war between the two neighbors, Iran and Iraq renewed relations at charge d'affaires level in 1990, but normalization has been held up by the issue of prisoners of war, and the presence of opposition groups in each other's country.
Another bone of contention is the return of Iraqi planes evacuated to Iran to avoid US-led raids during the Gulf War – (AFP)
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