Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
Source: Press TV
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has lauded growing relations with Iran, saying his country supports enhanced economic cooperation with the Islamic Republic.
Speaking to the IRIB on the sidelines of a Wednesday meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi in Baghdad, Maliki said Iraq welcomes investments by Iranian companies.
He expressed hope that the two neighbors hold a meeting at the earliest opportunity to discuss ways to boost economic cooperation and joint ventures.
Maliki said Iran and Iraq have the potential to expand economic cooperation in line with mutual historical relations.
He said Iraq was determined to pave the way for bolstering positive cooperation among regional countries, adding that Baghdad seeks to have an active presence in the region through promoting a new economic system.
Iran and Iraq took major strides towards the expansion of relations in various fields following the fall of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003. The officials of the two countries have exchanged many visits in recent years.
On Wednesday, the Iranian foreign minister paid an official visit to Iraq to discuss regional and international developments with senior Iraqi officials.
During his day-long stay in Baghdad, Salehi also held talks with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari on mutual relations and the latest developments in the Middle East region.
Salehi also met with Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi and former Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.