Addressing a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, Hussein said, “Today we had the honor of meeting Iran’s president and other Iranian officials in all fields.”
He continued that “we also talked about various projects that were related to bilateral relations. This was a good opportunity to talk about the region, especially the security situation in Iraq.”
The Iraqi foreign minister said that “we talked about the relations between Iran and Azerbaijan and the recent visit of the Iranian foreign minister to Pakistan and the talks that took place regarding the situation in Afghanistan and the developments that have taken place in that country. We also talked about US-Iraqi relations and the agreement to withdraw US troops from Iraq.”
He continued that Iran’s relations with Iraq’s neighboring countries are important to us. Iraq played an important role in supporting the talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran. “We hope that the fifth round of talks will take place between the two sides. We are here to emphasize the historical, religious, cultural, geographical and economic relations between the two countries.”
Regarding the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq, he said that in the fourth round of strategic talks “we had with the US in Washington, we reached a bilateral agreement on the withdrawal of their military forces, which will be implemented by the end of the year”.
“According to the information we have, American forces withdrew from Iraq. We also talked about the presence of American advisory forces in line with the agreement between the two countries,” the Iraqi foreign minister added.
Hussein stressed that except for US advisers and trainers, the US military will not be present in Iraq.
In response to another question about whether Iraq could play a role in establishing relations between Iran and the United States, Hussein said, “Iran-US relations are not a foreign issue for Iraq, but an internal one, because these relations and tensions between Tehran and Washington directly affect the political and security situation in Iraq and there are various reasons for this. Any opening in Tehran-Washington relations has a positive political, economic and security impact inside Iraq.”
He added that for this reason and based on Iraqi interests we are talking about US-Iranian relations with our friends both in Tehran and Washington. We are not just messengers in this area, we also discuss views.
Referring to the Vienna talks, Hussein continued that the seventh round of talks is over in Vienna, but there is no problem in the negotiation mechanism. “Negotiations with the 4+1 group, especially the American side are indirect negotiations through the European representative. We think it is time for direct talks between Tehran and Washington so that the two countries can reach a common understanding not only on the nuclear program but also on the sanctions imposed on Iran.”
“We need direct communication between the two countries and we are trying to make this happen. Iraq can play an important role in this regard, because the Iranians trust Iraq. But what does not exist is a mechanism for communication between Tehran and Washington,” he said.
The Iraqi foreign minister, who arrived in Tehran today at the head of a delegation, was welcomed at the foreign ministry by his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian.
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