The president of Iran voiced the country’s readiness to expand trade ties with Iraq and increase exports to the neighboring state.
"We are ready to have our tradespeople more active in Iraq and supply the required goods so that we can reach a good balance," Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said at the Economic-Trade Forum of Iran and Iraq in Baghdad on Monday, his website reported.
Extensive economic and trade cooperation between Iran and Iraq would benefit the both nations and the region, the president stressed, adding, "The two Iranian and Iraqi nations have always been together in recent years in creating security and stability."
"The Iranian nation and government are very happy that they have been alongside the Iraqi nation and army from the beginning in their fight against terrorism," Rouhani noted.
Referring to the achievement of stability and security in Iraq, Rouhani said, "Iranian economic and trade executives have stood by the Iraqi nation even when the country was insecure."
As regards the agreement reached during his meeting with Iraqi official, Rouhani said, "It was also decided that visas still remain in place, but the fees were decided to be removed and visas be issued free of charge."
"Iran is ready to develop relations in different fields such as energy, and supplying power and gas to Iraq," he emphasized.
Stressing that Iran is determined to increase trade relations with Iraq to $20 billion from $12 billion, Rouhani said, "Facilitating banking relations can create a historic opportunity for the two nations."
"Today, we are witnessing the closest relations between the two countries… This historic opportunity can be a turning point in the relations between the two countries,” he 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.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)