Developing economic relations between Iran and Iraq will be to the benefit of both countries as well as the region, said the Iranian President, highlighting cultural and historical commonalities and religious and ideological proximity of the two neighboring nations, IRNA reports.
President Hassan Rouhani, addressing the Iran-Iraq joint trade conference held on Monday, March 11 in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, said Iran and Iraq have always stood by each other to maintain security and stability.
Referring to the sacrifices made by the Iraqi government and army to safeguard Iraq, he said Iranian government and people are pleased to stand by Iraq from the outset in fighting terrorism.
Stressing the fact that stability and security in Iraq has been established in line with stability in Iran and the region as well, Rouhani said Iranian businessmen stood by Iraqis even in insecure conditions and did not sever their relations.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Iranian president described as positive meetings between Iranian and Iraqi high-ranking delegations, saying they could pave the way for businessmen to increase their activities.
Rouhani pointed to the agreement between Iran and Iraq on preferential tariffs, expressing readiness for preparing the grounds for Iranian businessmen to enhance their engagement with Iraq.
Elaborating on the measures taken to facilitate visits of the two countries' businessmen, Rouhani said issuing visa is still in place and it will be free of charge for them.
“Iran proposed that Iraqi visas [for Iranians] be eliminated [altogether] however the Iraqi side requested it to remain,” President Rouhani said earlier during a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi after the two signed five memoranda of understanding.
Iran's president arrived in Baghdad earlier on Monday.
His visit to Iraq is taking place upon the official invitation of his counterpart President Barham Salih and also Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.
During his three-day stay in Iraq, President Rouhani is also to confer with the senior Iraqi cleric, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Sistani.
Exploring avenues for promoting bilateral relations in the political, economic and cultural fields are among the main objectives of the Iranian president’s official visit to Iraq.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif travelled to Iraq on Saturday to do the necessary arrangements for President Rouhani’s official visit to the neighboring state.