Iran's president to visit Iraq next month for talk on bilateral ties

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-28 19:35:13|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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TEHRAN, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will visit neighboring Iraq on March 11 at the official invitation of his Iraqi counterpart to discuss bilateral ties, Tasnim news agency reported on Thursday.

During his trip to the Arab country, a high-ranking politico-economic delegation will accompany Rouhani.

It will be Rouhani's first official visit to Iraq during his tenure and after the slap of the U.S. sanctions against the Islamic republic last year.

On Monday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi met with Prime Minister of Iraq Adil Abdul-Mahdi in Baghdad to make arrangements for Rouhani's forthcoming trip.

During Iraqi President Barham Salih's visit to Tehran in November last year, Iran and Iraq announced readiness to boost cooperation in all sectors despite the U.S. sanctions.

Rouhani said, during Salih's visit, that the economic trade between the two countries could reach 20 billion U.S. dollars per year from the current 12 billion U.S. dollars.

On Feb. 5, the governor of Iran's central bank, Abdolnaser Hemmati, announced that Iranian traders could open accounts in Iraqi banks to carry out their transactions under a new payment system agreed between the two neighbors.

Besides, Iraq has rejected U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial remarks that Washington wants to use its bases in Iraq to watch Iran.

On Feb. 10, Major General Mohammad Baqeri, chief of staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, stressed that Iran would keep military advisers in Iraq and Syria as long as those countries demand.