Iraq PM in Iran to talk region and bilateral ties
Iranian VP Mohammad-Reza Rahimi (L) and Iraqi PM al-Maliki (2-L) review an honour guard, at the presidential palace in Tehran. AP photoIraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki arrived in Tehran yesterday for two days of meetings with Iranian leaders and senior officials on various bilateral issues, Iran’s IRNA state news agency reported.
The visit notably comes ahead of an important May 23 meeting to be hosted in Baghdad between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers on Tehran’s disputed nuclear program. Maliki’s schedule of meetings including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad underlined the current good relations between their Shiite-dominated administrations.
Al-Maliki was also to see parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani and chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, and to attend a meeting of the Iran-Iraq joint economic commission. The focus of talks was on bilateral, regional and international issues, and to “develop and strengthen bilateral ties,” IRNA reported. It was Maliki’s first visit to Tehran since October 2010, when he was trying to secure regional backing for a second term as premier following inconclusive March parliamentary polls.