BAGHDAD, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Iranian First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri arrived Wednesday in Baghdad on an official visit to hold talks with Iraqi leaders on developing bilateral ties.
A statement by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's office said that Abadi received Jahangiri in Baghdad airport and the two held a meeting later in Abadi's office at the Green Zone in central Baghdad.
Jahangiri and Abadi discussed the bilateral cooperation in various fields and means to promote common relations, the statement said.
"We have strong historical ties between the two countries and two peoples and we are seeking to consolidate them in economic, political, cultural, commercial and other fields," the statement added.
For his part, Jahangiri said, "Iraq is an important country and our relationship with it is firm," asserting that "Iran will stand by Iraq in the reconstruction process," according to the statement.
Earlier in the day, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) said that Jahangiri is heading a high-ranking delegation comprised of political and economic officials, including Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Jahangiri is also scheduled to meet Iraq's President Fuad Masum and the parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri, IRNA said.
During his three-day visit, Jahangiri is to visit the holy Shiite shrine of al-Kadhim in Baghdad, as well as the shrines of Imam Hussein in Karbala, some 110 km southwest of Baghdad, and Imam Ali in Najaf, 160 km south of the capital.
The two countries fought a cruel eight-year war in 1980s. However, the relations, between the Shiite state of Iran and the Shiite leading government in Iraq, have picked up since the fall of Iraq's former president Saddam Hussein and his Sunni power in 2003.